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For Immediate Release
July 23rd, 2019

Offenbach’s darkly humorous opéra fantastique, The Tales of Hoffmann, opens in Halifax August 3rd.

 

Jacques Offenbach never lived to see the immortal success of his last and greatest opera, Les contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) (1881). This production by the Halifax Summer Opera Festival features a steampunk theme, which fits perfectly with E.T.A. Hoffmann’s weird and often humorous stories of love thwarted by science, technology, magic and death.

Hoffmann is sung in French with projected translations, so audiences won’t miss any of the drama. Fully-staged and costumed and performed with piano, it opens August 3rd and runs through the 4th, 7th, and 10th at the Dunn Theatre.

The opera opens in a tavern in Nuremberg in 1880, where the poet Hoffmann confesses his love for the opera singer Stella, who reminds him of the three women he has most loved. He tells his fellow students their stories in flashbacks, and how in every case he was thwarted by a villain who took many shapes. Then follow the stories of Olympia, the clockwork doll whom Hoffmann was tricked into thinking human; Antonia, the young singer, who sang herself to death; and Giulietta, the Venetian courtesan who betrayed him and stole his shadow.

“The music is drop dead gorgeous”, says one of the stage directors, Nina Scott-Stoddart. “The opera is packed from start to finish with incredible numbers; from Olympia’s famous Doll Song, with its super high range to the legitimately creepy trio during which Antonia sings herself to death in a duet with her dead mother, to the lushly glorious Barcarolle of the Venetian Act”.

This production features gorgeous steampunk costumes by Egyptian-Canadian costume designer Wafaa Latif, as well as performances by Iranian-Canadian tenor Koosha Khorramian as Hoffmann and Canadian baritone MarKo Hubert as all four villains and the other talented singers of the 15th Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Tickets for the festival are on sale online at TicketHalifax.com, by phone at (902) 422-6278 (ext. 500), in person at The Coast’s offices, 2309 Maynard Street, or at the venue an hour before the show, payable by cash, credit card, tappable debit, ApplePay or cheque. Audience members can also buy season passes, which will get them into every performance of every show (which can be quite interesting since there are two casts for each opera, providing two quite distinct interpretations).

Halifax Summer Opera Festival and Workshop educates and develops both singers and audiences through the performance of operatic repertoire. For fourteen seasons, HSOF has presented fully staged operas each summer, giving singers from university undergrads to professionals opportunities to learn roles in the context of performing an entire, full-staged opera. Participants are selected from live or recorded auditions and participate in rehearsals and master classes on everything from auditioning techniques to dramatic and musical interpretations by seasoned pros. HSOF is a not-for-profit society with a volunteer Board of Directors, based in Lunenburg and Halifax. You can find out all the details at www.halifaxsummeroperafestival.com.

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Information / interviews:
Bodhi Anders: mobile: 902-293-0264 or email:
bodhi.anders@gmail.com

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