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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of Les Contes d'Hoffmann in cinemas?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Les Contes d'Hoffmann in cinemas?

John Schlesinger's classic Royal Opera production was relayed live to cinemas around the world.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

15 November 2016 at 10.37pm | 43 Comments

What did you think of Les Contes d'Hoffmann live in cinemas?
Add your thoughts via the comments below. 

If you experienced technical issues during this live cinema relay, please email details to cinema@roh.org.uk

The next live cinema relay of the 2016/17 Season is The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker on 8 December. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

A number of cinemas will be offering Encore screenings of Les Contes d'Hoffmann in the coming days and weeks. Find your nearest Encore screening

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

15 November 2016 at 10.37pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by John Schlesinger, Christine Rice, cinema, Film, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Movie, Production, Sofia Fomina, Sonya Yoncheva, The Tales of Hoffmann, Thomas Hampson, Vittorio Grigolo

This article has 43 comments

  1. Excellent performace, great singers! Thanks for the movie!

  2. Annabel Charles responded on 15 November 2016 at 11:10pm Reply

    Absolutely loved this production! The whole cast was magnificent - and the close ups revealed just how well they could act as well as sing. Clemency Burton Hill is an excellent presenter - and the additional interviews and commentary added to the enjoyment of the performance. The filming was very good too. Thank you to everyone involved for a fantastic evening.

  3. Christine responded on 15 November 2016 at 11:24pm Reply

    Wonderfull and a superbe instrumental Barcarolle. The directory looked like a balletdancer, incredibly beautiful.

  4. Rosalind Clayton responded on 15 November 2016 at 11:28pm Reply

    Absolutely brilliant. Singing and staging amazing. So good to see singers who can act and really look the part. Talk about best seat in the house! A bit disappointing that Newlyn filmhouse less than half full. Expected tickets to be like gold dust. Only problem was work out how to send feedback.

  5. Shona rawson responded on 15 November 2016 at 11:36pm Reply

    Fabulous singing from every single person and the principals were out of this world! Grigolo on top form. Each of the three ladies was magnificent in their different roles but the biggest star for me was Kate Lindsey as Nicklausse. She was so convincing in her acting but her voice is truly beautiful too. I think she is a rising star.

  6. Giulia Breakwell responded on 15 November 2016 at 11:53pm Reply

    Roh Tales of Hoffmann was one of the most incredible performances of anything I have ever seen !!

  7. Renny responded on 15 November 2016 at 11:55pm Reply

    Terrific production, great tunes and such a sense of fun and warmth among the cast at the end. Totally uplifting at a time we all need a fillip.

  8. Paul Crossley responded on 16 November 2016 at 12:07am Reply

    This broadcast of Hoffman was a total delight - beautifully staged, detailed, brilliantly sung and movingly performed by all. The cast was superb. We watched in Cambridge and the audience was spellbound.

  9. Nicholas Parker responded on 16 November 2016 at 12:24am Reply

    Les Contes d'Hoffmann was absolutely wonderful with Sofia Fomina particularly stunning in both her singing and acting. Her portrayal as the doll was amazing. The whole presentation, with interviews and guidance to the complicated story was first class.

  10. This production seen in Brighton Komedia absolutely sublime. If this doesn't win over those whose first introduction to operations is nothingwill. Samuel Ramey is my favourite diabolic opera artiste but Thomas Hampton gives him a run for his money in this opera.Wonderful. Bravo to all. A thrilling evening with an unbelievably great portrayal of Olympia

    • Sorry, several,misspellings I meant if this productuion doesn't win over those whose first introduction to OPERA THIS IS, NOTHING WILL . Also,the last word, evening, should be eliminated

    • A sublime evening. All singers exceptional both vocally and characterisation. Especially impressed by Thomas Hampson stepping outside his usual lyrical roles to portray the dark side of this opera so well. He was able to make each evil character different and alarmingly believable - especially Doctor Death. The sumptuous costumes, music and sets were just perfect to cheer us up in the uncertain times we are currently experiencing. Bravo

  11. Marianne responded on 16 November 2016 at 12:33am Reply

    Incredible experience, loved this production and all soloists were sublime esp Vittorio. Can't wait for the DVD to appear.

  12. Jim Kachenmeister responded on 16 November 2016 at 12:39am Reply

    Brilliant production! And we really appreciate the background stories, interviews, etc. throughout the evening. First class in every way. We all loved it here in Lucca, Italy.


  13. Rachelle marks responded on 16 November 2016 at 1:10am Reply

    Wonderful opera and singers bravo loved the evening

  14. Alan Munch responded on 16 November 2016 at 1:52am Reply

    It was fantastic from start to finish! Cinema was a very good way to see it. Act III was particularly gripping, but I was mesmerised throughout... A wonderful production in every way! Many thanks...

  15. Jo Monney responded on 16 November 2016 at 6:05am Reply

    Watched in Fribourg , Switzerland - glorious production - loved every minute!

  16. Stephen Wilson responded on 16 November 2016 at 7:22am Reply

    Electrifying! Marvellous in spite of the far too frequent close-up shots which are, yet again, most untheatrical for a theatre/cinema. This time we learned why - they are for the DVD!
    But it was wonderful. Thank you.

  17. David Reading responded on 16 November 2016 at 8:23am Reply

    I am not able to go to Covent Garden to see live performances hence these cinema relays are very welcome.
    I have only 2 reservations/criticisms:
    1. Although the cinema sound is very good you do NOT really hear the singers voices as you would in the opera house. My local cinema is sometimes too loud.
    2. Most of the action appears in close-up which is completely different to what you see in the opera house. This enables you to really see what's going on but does require singers who look good and can act and staging that isn't ridiculous. EG the Norma production was not only ridiculous but incomprehensible. Fortunately Hoffmann was an old production and not ruined by stage directors who know and care nothing about opera.

  18. Kevin Thomson responded on 16 November 2016 at 8:38am Reply

    Simply..... THE best opera (at the cinema or at ROH itself) ever seen ,heard, experienced and reveled in. Loved it.
    Just one question; why, oh why is this the last of this awesome production of the most sumptuous, fun, funny, sad, revealing, detailed, sweeping, colourful, dark, tantalising, gut-wrenching and lots more besides of operas EVER!!???
    Can't wait for the DVD.
    Ooops another questions. When is it out? SOON please.
    Oh and another? Why have I missed out on opera all my life? Answers.a/ age b/ at £500 a pop with tickets, travel, hotel, meals (and London shopping thrown in!) it's thank the stars for cinema.
    Didcot here we come for the season.
    And/or it's a trip to London to see it live methinks!
    And/or show it again on the big screen.

  19. Hugh responded on 16 November 2016 at 9:40am Reply

    Most enjoyable performance last night. Olympia was amazingly mechanical! I quite fell in love with Nicklausse (much more than just a pretty face), but the once-good Thomas Hampson let the side down. I suppose it’s vanity than makes singers carry on long after they should have retired, but insensitive casting by opera houses only encourages them.

    In the matter of subtitles you need to learn that commas are supposed to indicate a slight pause in the spoken word. The general principle is that punctuation should help the reader, not hinder. Americans and journalists do not understand that simple rule; it seems that you are in the same league. And once I caught you misusing the word ‘forever’, which does not mean the same as ‘for ever’.

  20. Coppelia responded on 16 November 2016 at 9:51am Reply

    When in the prologue Councillor Lindorf sings "I am old but I am alive!" he could be describing Schlesinger’s production as well as himself. It may be old fashioned but it's no fossil. There was plenty to enjoy. Vittorio is such a brilliant and exciting Hoffmann, the role really shows off his full acting range. You never doubt he is giving every ounce of his being into his performance. A myriad of musical highlights but loved Kate Lindsey’s persuasive and rousing ‘C'est l'amour vainqueur’. Vincent Ordonneau was consistently great as the four servants. The line after Olympia sings when Hoffmann says she’s so “expressive” got a big laugh in the cinema. It was great to savour all the little details you miss when you’re seated in the House like when Thomas Hampson sinisterly peeled off his black leather gloves to reveal black nail varnish! Thanks for a wonderful cinema event, I will be seeking out my nearest Encore screening.

  21. Was intrigued by the reference in the Olympia section to the Jewish money-lender Elias.(The subtitles omitted the reference to his being a Jew.) A weird, compelling mixture of lush beauty and darkness in this production.

  22. Stevie responded on 16 November 2016 at 1:30pm Reply

    I cant believe that this is the last performance of this amazing production. Does that mean the last performance 'ever', or the last for the time being. Public demand will want this back again. If it is ever shown again, I will take a morning train to London and get the overnight sleeper back home.

  23. David Ashman responded on 16 November 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

    Enjoyable but now is the right time for the production to retire...

  24. Christine douglas responded on 16 November 2016 at 1:57pm Reply

    What a truly magnificient production of Les Contes D'Hoffman shown live at my local cinema last night - wonderful cast together with utterly superb performances - enjoyed every minute - simply, opera at it's very best !!!!

  25. Anne Bogdanovic responded on 16 November 2016 at 2:20pm Reply

    Please, please, PLEASE do not make this the last revival of this AMAZING production! Quite wonderful…

  26. Jose Gois responded on 16 November 2016 at 4:21pm Reply

    Saw it last evening in Lisbon. I was absolutely thrilled. Gorgeous singing from the cast and chorus, excellent acting in an overall sumptuous and very well staged production. Vittorio Grigolo was terrific and so were all the ladies, including mezzo Kate Lindsay, finally revealing herself as the Poet’s Muse, beautiful in her “Greek Madonna” (pre-Raphaelite) costume. Some might think of the production as a bit outdated, but I see no problem in watching an opera as the composer and the librettist intended it to be represented, which is becoming increasingly rare… A final note for the subtitles in Brazilian Portuguese, that for European Portuguese citizens sound frequently hilarious and, therefore, somewhat distractive…

  27. Gigi T responded on 16 November 2016 at 4:30pm Reply

    First time seeing 'Tales of Hoffman and so glad I did.Was a brilliant production in every respect.All soloists were superb in their roles but Thomas Hampson's performance, for me, was matchless. How did he get that really eerie quality into his voice and laugh, too? Four different portrayals and sounds from the same singer in one evening was spell binding. He even managed to look effortlessly sinister just sitting in a chair!

  28. Chantal Beaudry responded on 18 November 2016 at 4:40pm Reply

    From Zurich: It was simply outstanding. I hope there will be a DVD of this superb production and singers astonishing performance. Even though the critics in the London newspaper said differently, it was real pleasure the the eyes and the ears. Thank you all.

  29. v paolillo responded on 18 November 2016 at 6:18pm Reply

    few words: wonderfully breathtaking in every part and moment from turin.it

  30. danila tomà responded on 19 November 2016 at 6:49am Reply

    stupend opera creation wondy v grigòlo t hamson s yoncheva christ rice and a special mention to the incredible sofia fomina!
    danila t from turin.it

  31. MARTY responded on 19 November 2016 at 7:28am Reply

    Hello !
    we saw this performance "les contes d'Hoffmann" live broadcasting on Nov.15th and were very impressed by the performance from all these singers, Hoffmann was brilliant beginning to the end, Coppelia was playing so real by the make-up, her moves..all of her let us believe she was a doll, Thomas Hampson was superbly diabolic, his laughs let me shiver - Giuletta and Antonia were very convincing, the costumes were very suggesting, very rich or very simple. The orchestra and chorus were also a delight. I saw this opera years years ago and I loved it - that is why I went again this evening- I was very very impressed and I hope we will have the chance to get it back kon the screens in this production. I will go again ! a good thing too is the price of the ticket : I could bring a friend of mine who is not a opera goer, not at all but he loved it and he will go again ! the opera gets more fans in this way !!!

  32. Diana Mitchell responded on 19 November 2016 at 5:32pm Reply

    Absolutely wonderful, I was transported to a wonderful place. Thank you.

  33. Diana nee Tabraham responded on 20 November 2016 at 10:38am Reply

    A wonderful production with superb singers. As a young thing in the sixties I worked at ROH for the stage directorBill Bundy on the previous production of Hoffmann. I loved that and I loved this. Can't wait for the DVD.Thank you.

  34. Peter Erdos responded on 20 November 2016 at 4:18pm Reply

    Is it not wonderful to see a very great operaproduction again like in the old days? There was no need to ask why was this and who was that. Both Messrs Offenbach and Schlesinger would have been happy!
    The singing was at very high level also. I found Grigolo pleasing no less so than Domingo 35 years ago or Villazon a bit later.Hampson menacing and evil villains were superbly acted an well sung. All three ladies I liked very much particularly Yoncheva and Fomina. Kate Lindsay I found disappointing. Although her voice is very beautiful, warm and creamy it is on a small scale for a big house
    It is discouraging to know that another treasure is going to be discarded (like the Tosca or the Boheme) and God only knows what horrors will amaze us at the replacement although I can always enjoy this on my formidable VHS recording of the original.

  35. Sarah Pritchard responded on 20 November 2016 at 5:17pm Reply

    Simply adored your production! Please don't let it be the last! It was wonderful! My mum and I watched it at a cinema in Maidstone. Can't wait for the DVD! Thank you ROH and everyone involved in relaying a beautiful production.

  36. Helen Smith responded on 20 November 2016 at 9:23pm Reply

    I first saw this production of Tales of Hoffmann when it was new in 1980 with Domingo in the title role and was impressed by the quality of the production by John Schlesinger. Since then I have seen it with several changes of cast. It always comes up fresh. I saw it in the cinema last week and was impressed again at the quality of the production. I cannot believe that this is the final revival by the ROH. Why throw away a perfect production which has stood the test of time over many years? This new revival directed by Daniel Dooner could extend the life of this first class production for many more years. I urge the ROH to reconsider this inexplicable decision.

  37. Jill De sayrah responded on 21 November 2016 at 10:53pm Reply

    Amazing production and singing, both at the cinema and again live tonight (Monday 21st). Vittorio Grigolo is simply astounding as a singer and performer and all the other cast members and the orchestra were also amazing - absolutely loved it, thank you so much.

  38. LianeBierau responded on 27 November 2016 at 2:52pm Reply

    "Unfortunately" i was at the live performance in the opera house on November 15th and therefore missed the cinema which i would have loved to see and always do with all other productions. It was a wonderful evening in every respect and I loved every minute of it.
    I only hope there will be an _Encore and can't wait for the DVD. I totally agree with all the others above who say:


  39. Brendan Quinn responded on 28 November 2016 at 12:41pm Reply

    My faith is restored in the ROH after being knocked to shreds by Lucia. Bravo the company is back on track.

  40. David Hutton responded on 4 December 2016 at 3:44pm Reply

    The Tales of Hoffman was absolutely magical. As I had met John Schlesinger shortly before his death, it was also a lovely reminder of his genius. It will be a shame if his production is permanently removed from the repertoire; perhaps there could be more revivals in the future?

  41. mary loonam responded on 22 December 2016 at 12:51pm Reply

    A sublime performance! I am in Sydney and am hoping that you will release the opera on DVD

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