Synopsis - The Tales of Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann are interlinked stories of the writer Hoffmann's loves, thwarted by the jealous muse of poetry, and a sinister nemesis – a multiple role (Lindorf-Coppélius-Dapertutto-Dr Miracle) played by the same singer.
The opera begins in a tavern: Hoffmann has been summoned to an assignation by the prima donna, Stella. The evil councillor Lindorf plans to take Hoffmann's place and encourages Hoffmann to tell the tale of his three lost loves. The first is Olympia, a life-like mechanical doll; Hoffmann ignores the warnings of his friend Nicklausse and is made a laughing stock when his love is literally torn apart by her co-creator, Dr Coppélius.
The second is Antonia, a former lover with a mysterious disease which will kill her if she sings: Dr Miracle offers Antonia's father Crespel a cure for his daughter, but it's a trick to cause her death and blame Hoffmann. Nicklausse saves Hoffmann again and in the Epilogue is revealed as the muse of poetry; she explains to Stella, who arrives to find Hoffmann drunk, that his love for her is dead and that Lindorf is waiting for her...
The third is the courtesan Giulietta; but she is being manipulated by Dapertutto to secure Hoffmann's reflection – she dies in his arms of a poison Dapertutto intended for Nicklausse.
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