I’ve been remiss in not shouting from the Blogging Rooftops how thrilled we are to be working from Schott’s Kaye/Keck edition for our Tales of Hoffmann. Producing this opera is like being presented with a wealth of confusing riches, not all of which can (or should) be piled into one evening at the theatre. Musicologists like Michael Kaye (with whom we collaborated in navigating this maze) have a strong, clear grasp on what a production of Hoffmann should contain, but we mere mortals are easily confused*. (Especially those of us who are crazy enough to wait until January to choose an opera that opens that very same summer…)
It wasn’t easy, but in an exhausting series of emails, phone calls, and meetings this spring, we somehow found a formula that is holding the stage beautifully. We had to make a few cuts (notably in the finale to the Giulietta act and the Epilogue), but our patrons are enjoying the pacing and clear storytelling that’s made possible by this version. (Critics haven’t spoken quite yet, but I won’t hold my breath on that:))
*I’ve been explaining Hoffmann‘s twisted and complicated history during my preshow talks, and I’d love to get my presentation online, either in the form of an audio podcast or a Youtube clip. Wish me luck.
Photo courtesy of Carol Pratt: Craig Irvin as Coppelius, Nathaniel Peake as Hoffmann and Catherine Martin as Nicklausse