San Franciso Opera announced it's summer 2013 season including the sexy and lyrical autobiographical "Tales of Hoffman" by Offenbach, with sumptuous costumes by Laurent Pelley and starring Natalie Dessay in the lead role of Hoffman's love interest Antonia. Pelley directs and Patrick Fournellier conducts. Dessay will not sing the role of Olympia as she has with her Doll Song in the past.
The Met had a risque Tales of Hoffman by Bartlett Sher a few years ago and omitted the nudity from the worldwide simulcast, with Anna Netrebko in the lead role.
One interesting twist is that Dessay will play Antonia exclusively and not the fantasy women in Hoffman's dreams of frustrated love. Although Dessay has one of the funniest opera performances ever on Youtube with her Doll Song, the singers playing the imagined lovers in San Francisco's new production will be
Korean soprano Hye Jung Lee as Olympia;
American mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts in her Company debut as Giulietta;
and Adler Fellow soprano Jennifer Cherest as Stella.
English mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, who was in San Francisco's new production of Massenet’s Werther, makes her role debut in the pants role as Nicklausse, Hoffman's guiding spirit also in love with him. Werther was a new production of a French non-love story by Massenet.
Christian Van Horn plays the male roles of Coppelius, Dappertutto, Dr. Miracle and Lindorf.
Chantal Thomas designed the sets.
Running time 3 hours 30 minutes with two intermissions. Sung in French.
Plays June 5 to July 6 with two matinees.
TICKETS AND INFORMATION
Three-opera Trio packages for Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Così fan tutte and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, priced from $70 to $714 (a 30% discount off single ticket prices), are available through March 31, 2013 at the San Francisco Opera Box Office either in person or by phone at (415) 864-3330. The Trio package offer is not valid online.
Single tickets for Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Così fan tutte and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene are priced from $22 to $340 and may be purchased at sfopera.com or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), or by phone at (415) 864-3330]. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.
Before every opera performance, listen to charismatic music scholars present a 25-minute Opera Talk including an overview of the opera, with insights on the music, composer and historical background. Talks begin fifty-five minutes before each performance in the orchestra section of the War Memorial Opera House and are presented free of charge to patrons with tickets for the corresponding performance.
The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street.
It's an easy bike ride or walk from Civic Center BART but no bike racks at the opera house. A tiny bike rack stands outside the symphony hall across the street on Grove.
For more public transportation information, visit bart.gov and sfmuni.com.
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