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  • Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann to be relayed live to cinemas on 15 November 2016

Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann to be relayed live to cinemas on 15 November 2016

The live relay of John Schlesinger's classic Royal Opera production stars an impressive cast including Vittorio Grigolo, Thomas Hampson and Sonya Yoncheva.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

11 November 2016 at 3.20pm | 1 Comment

John Schlesinger’s Royal Opera production of Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) will be relayed live to cinemas around the world at 6.30pm GMT on 15 November 2016.

The cinema relay will be presented by TV and radio broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill.

Download the Les Contes d'Hoffmann Digital Programme for free using the promo code FREEHOFF and enjoy a range of specially selected films, articles, photos and features to bring you closer to the production.

The story

The poet Hoffmann falls in love with an opera singer called Stella, but his alcohol addiction and a strange Councillor called Lindof threaten to destroy the blossoming romance.

Set in a tavern, Hoffmann reminisces about his three past lovers – Olympia, Giulietta and Antonia – and of the mysterious villain who has blighted each of his romances.

Will his love affair with Stella have a different end? And will Hoffmann’s Muse convince him to put art before alcohol?

Read our Essentials guide to Les Contes d'Hoffmann

The music

Les Contes d’Hoffmann was Offenbach's final opera, and shows his versatility as a composer. He died just before completing it, and so never saw it fully staged. In the years that followed the composer's death, many different versions of the opera were staged, with others second-guessing as to Offenbach's true intentions.

Read more about why Les Contes d'Hoffmann is one of the most edited operas in the repertory

The opera's musical highlights include the lively chorus numbers, Hoffmann’s characterful ‘Chanson de Kleinzach’ and Olympia’s thrilling septet at the end of Act II, as Hoffmann realizes he’s been cheated of love once again.

The production

Film director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday) made his Royal Opera debut in 1980 with this richly detailed production, which includes an opulent Venetian palazzo complete with gondola. Now over 30 years on, Hoffmann has become one of the classic stagings in The Royal Opera’s repertory.

We invited group of Instagrammers photograph the production from the wings.

View photos from our #OperaGram Instameet.

The cast

Conducted by Evelino Pidò, the production showcases a starry cast with Vittorio Grigòlo as Hoffmann, Sonya Yoncheva as Antonia, Christine Rice as Giulietta and Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse.


Les Contes d'Hoffmann opened on 7 November 2016. Read audience reactions to the opening night and add your own review.

After the relay, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts with the hashtag #ROHhoffmann.

Les Contes d'Hoffmann will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world at 6.30pm GMT on 15 November 2016. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

This article has 1 comment

  1. Angela responded on 15 November 2016 at 8:14pm Reply

    Olympia is fantastic. What an amazing performance, utterly believable as a mechanical doll!!

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