From Jan 22 through Feb 12, 2011.
Florida Grand Opera will open its production of Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann) on January 22, 2011. Offenbach’s reputation was firmly established by his hugely successful comic operas, including Orpheus in the Underworld with its famous “Can-Can,” but with The Tales of Hoffmann, he was determined to achieve recognition as a composer of serious opera as well.
The Tales of Hoffmann is based on several short stories by the writer E.T.A. Hoffmann, a central figure in the German Romantic literary movement and the author of numerous fantasy and horror stories. His short novel, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, served as the inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker, and The Tales of Hoffmann would soon become a favorite vehicle for many of the world’s leading opera singers who relished the opportunity to exploit its limitless dramatic opportunities. Canadian tenor David Pomeroy, who made his 2009 Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of its new production of The Tales of Hoffmann, will make his FGO debut in the same role.
Many Hoffmann productions feature four different female artists as Hoffmann’s love interests, but one of opera’s great challenges is for a single artist to undertake the roles of all four. Only a limited number of sopranos, including Beverly Sills and Dame Joan Sutherland, have truly excelled in them. For Florida Grand Opera’s production, the remarkable American soprano Elizabeth Futral returns to perform all of them for the first time in her career. Her previous FGO appearances as Gounod’s Juliette, Donizetti’s Lucia, and Strauss’ Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos are some well- remembered highlights of past seasons. She appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago last season in Lehar’s The Merry Widow. Bass-baritone Bradley Garvin, who was recently heard this season as Scarpia in Boston Lyric Opera’s Tosca, will make his FGO debut as the four villains, and Katherine Rohrer will make her FGO debut in the trouser role of Hoffmann’s companion Nicklausse.
Cuban-born conductor Lucy Arner will also make her Florida Grand Opera debut in this production. She served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera from 1994 through 2008, and has conducted at leading companies around the world, including the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, HoustonGrandOpera,andNewYorkCityOpera. Theacclaimeddirectoranddesignerteamof Renaud Doucet and André Barbe will remount their sumptuous production, which has been highly acclaimed in Denver, Saint Louis, and Boston. The Denver Post wrote that it “. . . captures (the opera’s) oddly alluring fusion of fantasy and reality.”
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House
January 22, 2011, at 7 p.m. – Opening Night January 25, 28, February 2, 5, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. January 30, 2011, matinee at 2 p.m.
FORT LAUDERDALE PERFORMANCES:
Broward Center for the Performing Arts Au-Rene Theater
February 10 and 12, 2011, at 8 p.m.
Florida Grand Opera