Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Offenbach - Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Guingal Machado Gorny Goeldner Opera de Bilbao|
Actors: Aquiles Machado, Maria Bayo, Milagros Poblador, Christophe Fel, Konstantin Gorny
Director: Giancarlo del Monaco
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
BILBAO ORKESTRA SINFONIKOA
"Tales of Kleinzach?"
Stanley H. Nemeth | Garden Grove, CA United States | 07/08/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Hoffmann, the central figure in this opera, may be a drunk, a loser in love, and a paranoid personality, but at the same time, it's clear from the libretto he's a romantic poet, and the world IS against him. For whatever complex of reasons, though, - soprano Maria Bayo in the interviews is heard muttering some nonsense about Freud - Hoffmann, according to director Giancarlo Del Monaco's ugly and unsuitable "bright" idea for the part, is portrayed as a demented hunchback, more Kleinzach than any recognizable Hoffmann, given the libretto.
The production strives to be novel and ugly throughout, and in this aim, I'm sorry to say, it largely succeeds. The only saving graces are the very voices of Machado (Hoffmann), Goeldner (Muse), and, above all, Poblador (Olympia), the stunning and believable automaton. In the area of voice itself fortunately, the star director found one place where he was unable to tamper and maim."
This is fantastic!
P. Sutherland | Berea, Ohio, USA | 05/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether Hoffmann is an incarnation of Kleinzach or no, this production is fantastic! I enjoyed the singing from start to finish with no weak links in the cast. Hoffmann with a twist seems to be the norm anyway. I've seen five versions and every one is different. So who's to say which take on Hoffmann is valid? I frankly don't care. Call me shallow. Hoffmann is a drunken poet and here he is a hunchback, too.
In this version, Nicklausse, who is the Muse in disguise, has a much larger role in events than I've seen before. It is played by Katherine Goeldner, who declares right away that SHE loves Hoffmann and that she will win him from the others. In the end, she does. Meanwhile, the entire cast sings and acts superbly. The simple set suffices for all the stories and the action flows right along; Giuletta literally rises out of the hulk of Olympia.
Aquiles Machado's voice is gorgeous; Milagros Poblador is perfect as Olympia; Valentina Kutzarova was a luscious Giuletta; Maria Bayo finds her fortissimo as Antonia; Christophe Fel is wonderful as Crespel; Konstantin Gorny was a great series of villains--with Dr. Miracle particularly dramatic and intense; Jose Ruiz played multiple roles winning applause. And on and on. I'm not kidding...everyone was great.
Don't let me forget the orchestra, conducted by Alain Guingal. The music was glorious.
I recommend this production whole-heartedly!!!
THE DEBASEMENT OF OLYMPIA
Sammy Jackson 14/88 | Illinois | 03/06/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I may be wrong, but it seems to me that somehow--and don't ask me how--people who hate opera are now producing many operas. Take this offering of "Hoffman," for example. As a previous reviewer opined, this staging is "ugly throughout." I concur most emphatically. It's like the point of this DVD is to convince people that "Tales of Hoffman" sucks. But why? Is it some kind of conspiracy to destroy Western Civilization? I don't get it. However, one thing is certain: this production goes out of its way to descerate this most wondrous music. They have taken all of the fun out of it. Two examples.
First, one of my all-time favorite jams is the opening of the "Olympia" scene, which consists of one of the catchiest melodies I've ever heard, somewhere between a march and a procession. (This theme is repeated twice in the act, to great effect.) Put it this way: I can't believe anybody doesn't like it. Not only that, this brief introduction sets the tone for the entire act. This is not surprising since the music is, after all, the introduction to the scene. So, of course, in this DVD, this great music is not even in the opera. These brainiacs took it out!
Here's the second example. During Olympia's show-stopper, when she winds-down the second time, she has to be wound-up again. So Cochenille gets on the floor, shoves a key way under and up her dress, causing Olympia to moan with delight. Thankfully, nobody humped her. Also, during her aria, one of the most annoying Spalanzanis ever (he was kind of a lame impersonation of Einstein), kept buzzing around her with his remote control device.
Oh, and another thing, this Hoffman is a hunchback, or is, at least, hunch-back-like.