The Tales of Hoffmann
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Tales of Hoffmann (French: Les contes d'Hoffmann) is an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann. Hoffmann is the protagonist in the opera.
The stories used in the opera were:
- "Der Sandmann" ("The Sandman"), 1816.
- "Rath Krespel" ("Councillor Krespel", also known in English as "The Cremona Violin") 1818.
- "Das verlorene Spiegelbild" ("The Lost Reflection") from Die Abenteuer der Sylvester-Nacht (The Adventures of New Year's Eve), 1814.
The aria "Chanson de Kleinzach" ("Song of Little Zaches") in the prologue is based on the short story "Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober" ("Little Zaches, called cinnabar"), 1819.
The Barcarolle, "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour" is the opera's most famous number.
- Hoffmanns Erzählungen (1916) a silent German film adaptation directed by Richard Oswald.
- The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) a British film adaptation written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.