The Tales Of Hoffmann – Did You Know…?

Wednesday, 22 August, 2018
Jacques Offenbach

The Tales Of Hoffmann is one of Offenbach's most famous works but did you know...

1. Offenbach spent the last decade of his life writing The Tales Of Hoffmann but never got to see it performed. He died in October 1880 as the opera was in rehearsals at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. As Offenbach was not there to see the first performance, he lost the opportunity to ensure his vision was actualised. In fact, from the very first performance, the opera was cut and rearranged, with little attention paid to Offenbach’s original intent.

2. The most famous music from the opera, "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour"; or simply, the Barcarolle; was not actually composed for the opera at all, but was borrowed from Offenbach's 1864 opera, Die Rheinnixen.

3. The Tales of Hoffmann has had great influence over modern screen and cinema. It was made into a film in 1951, by Powell and Pressburger, which Martin Scorsese and George Romero have called out as a major influence on their work. The music from the Barcarolle can been heard on screen in places you’d least expect it, from Walt Disney movies to Dad’s Army, it even makes an appearance in Elvis Presley’s movie G.I. Blues, forming the basis of the melody for Tonight’s The Night For Love.

4. Hugely popular in its time, the opera achieved over 100 performances in its first year alone and is a regular staple of the operatic repertoire today.

5. The opera contains four stories in one, recounting the Tales of Hoffmann and his four great loves, with three of the performers taking on a different role in each of the four stories. So pay attention, you don’t want to lose track of who’s who!

Don't miss your chance to see this wonderful opera on stage in a theatre near you. Full details of our nationwide tour can be found here. Booking now open!