Tenor Vittorio Grigolo sings the title role of Hoffmann, the tortured poet and unwitting adventurer who is looking for love in Jacques Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, a fantasy opera based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann. The libretto was written by Jules Barber; the opera was first performed in 1881 in Paris. Saturday, January 31, 1 to 4:30 pm on WRTI.
One of the most-beloved opera arias is The Tales of Hoffmann's Barcarolle, Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour:
A sensitive poet searches for love, and repeatedly finds it lies just beyond his reach in this marvelously melodic masterpiece. Singing the title role is tenor Matthew Polenzani, who was praised by The New York Times as "coming into his prime...singing with increasing ardor, richness and power."
Efforts are now underway to keep Thomas Eakins' iconic painting The Gross Clinic in Philadelphia. We speak with those leading the charge; Jason Peifer explores The Tales of Hoffmann from Temple University Opera Theater. The production is based on the newest edition of the 19th century opera, which incorporates 24 previously undiscovered pages from Composer Jacques Offenbach's original score; and, Susan Lewis looks at a new film-making contest. Project 21 gives competitors just 21 days to create a complete new work-but with a twist.