Jacques Offenbach - The Tales of Hoffmann [Act 1 and Act 2 part 1]
Another gem we acquired while going through used vinyl records at our local record store. The album was accompanied by a Libretto printed in 1957. Didn't know anything about Offenbach but we thought this would be a fun album to listen to. I am not a big fan of Opera but after listening to the record several times I realized the story is entertainingly funny. Cheap entertain if you ask me - $2.
The setting is in Germany. Likely in the late 1800s. It starts with students - presumably inebriated - singing rather boisterously about the power of wine and beer to bring joy and long life to mankind. That in itself should give a hint where this is going. Hoffmann, the German romantic poet, tells the story of three great loves of his life. All three were unhappy, and all three were destroyed by Hoffman's evil genius. The evil influence works through certain tricks of magic, and the whole atmosphere of the opera is highly imaginative and fantastic.
The opera is in three acts with a prologue and an epilogue. This post is the first installment, which consists of Act 1 and a part of Act 2. I plan to post three more installments - so if you enjoy this one as much as I did be expecting for the remainder of the music.
The account of Jacques Offenbach arriving in America to write this opera is in my opinion another story worthy of posting. I may write something about this in the future but for now I will devote more priority to the opera. Hope you will enjoy as much as I did.