A final outing for the Royal Opera’s lavish but fusty Tales of Hoffmann

Offenbach: Les Contes d’Hoffmann ***

Royal Opera, 7th November 2016

When an enormous black gondola creaks and shudders its way across the stage in the “Giulietta” act of the Royal Opera’s The Tales of Hoffmann, it acts as a metaphor for John Schlesinger’s venerable production. Designed on the grandest of scales, opulently costumed, it’s often sumptuous to the eye, but there’s a fusty, museum air hanging over this revival, with its prompt box and lengthy set changes. The company’s probably right to retire it after this run, though it might have hoped for a more spirited performance to send it to the operatic knacker’s yard.

Christine Rice (Giulietta) and Thomas Hampson (Dappertutto) © ROH | Catherine Ashmore

Christine Rice (Giulietta) and Thomas Hampson (Dappertutto)
© ROH | Catherine Ashmore

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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