Les Contes d'Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann, Jacques Offenbach’s posthumous masterpiece, is still one of the most frequently performed operas in the world. Due to its chaotic genesis however, this jewel of the French opera repertoire has until now never been the object of a serious edition: many sections of the work were cut already before the premiere in 1881, others were later reworked by foreign hands. Moreover, the most important autograph sources were scattered throughout the world. The two most renowned experts on the work, Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck, have succeeded in combining their insights from thirty years of research in order to jointly present the first complete critical edition of The Tales of Hoffmann, an edition that does justice to the composer’s original intentions. Providing profound insight into the work’s structure, thus making possible an authentic realization on the stage, it offers conductors, stage directors, singers, and musicologists an ideal working basis. The edition not only brings together all the autograph source material accessible today and alternative versions of arias, but also recitatives and other apocryphal material that have become an integral part of the opera throughout its performance history. Puzzles long associated with the work have been solved and copious misinformation corrected, leaving scholars, performers, and audiences in no doubt as to the nature, chronology, and origins of the numerous alterations that were made to Offenbach’s masterpiece.
- Michael Kaye