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Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre [DVD] [2001] [NTSC]

 Exempt   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: £8.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann -- Royal Opera House/Pretre [DVD] [2001] [NTSC] + Gaetano Donizetti - La Fille du régiment / Dessay, Florez, Palmer, Corbelli, French, Campanella, Pelly (Royal Opera House 2007) [DVD] [2008] [NTSC]
Price For Both: £21.50

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C24EY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,362 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The famous and highly praised Royal Opera production by the film director John Schlesinger, filmed in 1981, is as good as we are ever likely to see. The spectacular designs by Maria Bjornson and William Dudley vividly bring Hoffmann’s nightmare world to life. The brilliant cast is led by Placido Domingo as Hoffmann, in one of his towering portrayals. He has become wholly identified with this part, in a way that no other artist has.

The all-star cast also includes Luciana Serra as Olympia, Agnes Baltsa as Giulietta, Ileana Cortrubas as Antonia, Robert Lloyd as Lindorf, Geraint Evans as Coppelius, Nicola Ghiuselev as Dr Miracle, Sigmund Nimsgern as Dappertutto. The score, which includes such favourites as the Barcarolle and the Doll’s Song is conducted by Georges Pretre.

Product Description


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 2 May 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was lucky enough to have seen this on BBC live from the Royal Opera House and although it was many years ago it still remains a favourite of mine. Having the three wonderful sopranos as opposed to the usual one added a dimension note seen since, as far as I am aware. And Placido Domingo was at his best during this period. Excellent DVD.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ! 26 Aug 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Placido Domingo leads an all round excellent cast. The singing is of a very high standard, and it is very well staged and produced.
I would recommend this to any opera lover, even if they are unfamiliar with this work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 19 July 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Probably one of the greatest opera performances and recordings ever. I was not lucky enough to be there but instead it caught my ear as I was listening to the BBC Radio 3 live broadcast. Astonishing singing and great that there is at least a DVD recording as I cannot find a CD recording.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Baltsa crowns this masterpiece 13 July 2012
Shot in the days when we did not have sharp picture definition this production is a total triumph. I was at Covent Garden the first night it opened and it was the most electrifying production.
Agnes Baltsa for me is the supreme crowning achievement of this production. Every gesture, toss of the head and movement conveys the manipulation of Hoffman and the intoxifying mix of the bizarre and the human.
A triumph and don't let any one tell you otherwise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The many five star ratings for this production are amply justified. Production values(traditional), music and singing are at a very high standard. The direction for video is by the very experienced and capable Brian Large although this was quite an early outing for this master of the craft. The programme notes are minimal in the extreme. Fortunately there are at least chapter headings but there is only very limited information about the opera. Only the actual stars are named from the large cast and here serious omissions include Robert Tear as Spalanzini, Claire Powell as Nicklaus and Gwynne Howell as Crespel which are large parts.

Rightly Placido Domingo has received great praise for his fine central performance but the production is also well served by his three great loves. Luciana Serra delivers a beautifully sung and acted Doll's Song; Agnes Baltsa is totally believable as the courtesan Giulietta and Ileana Cotrubas brings a fragile vulnerability to the doomed Antonia. Among the great sopranos of the 1970s & 1980s this performer had few rivals in conveying pathos.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of my five Hoffmans 3 Dec 2013
I will start off with the bad news, the picture quality is not good, particularly in long shot, but this is a 1981 production. There is no booklet and the arias etc. are listed inside the sleeve. The notes on the rear cover are scanty and give poor credit to the excellent cast, and ignore most completely.
Now to the good bits, the sets and stagings are excellent, and the dolby sound is very good.
Domingo is the best Hoffman in the five versions that are in my collection, and the rest are not bad.
Claire Powell is an excellent Nicklaus, she has a very pleasing mezzo and despite this being a strong role she has no mention on the sleeve.
The set for the prologue is a rough and ready bar with a balcony and an exuberant set of students. Robert Lloyd also makes an excellent Councillor Lindorf, his costume and presentation are very impressive.
The set of act one, Spalanzis house is full of scientific symbols and charts , which as the act continues opens up to reveal an impressive house. This act belongs to Luciana Serra, her portrayal of Olympia is unequalled in automotive movement, and the bisque complexion is very good. Her song is definitely a highlight of the whole production.
Geraint Evans as Coppelius is of course quite brilliant and his costume a work of amusing art.
There are some beautiful costumes in the party scene, and one or two clever touches like the photographer.
Act two has a sumptuous set for the courtesans, Agnes Baltsa and Claire Powell perform a memorable Barcarolle. Domingo and Baltsa perform some impassioned singing. Nimsgern " the diamond " aria is also memorable. The act is well staged with some unexpected coming and going and a good swordfight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Production 6 Mar 2012
I cannot think of any weaknesses on the part of the cast performing this opera. One would not expect anything but a first class performance from Placido Domingo in the title role and he does not disappoint here. However, it is the supporting roles that make this B.B.C /Covent Garden production a gem. My only criticism is perhaps the picture quality, particularly the stage lighting that could have been better although it was recorded no doubt, on tape, some years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmisable 17 Jan 2011
Skillfully directed and staged, with excelleny eye for detail. Superbly acted and beautifully sung. This Covent Garden production is unbeatable. Five stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
A dull and fussy production of an over-rated work
Published 8 days ago by Gwynant
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
both these DVDs were excellent in my opinion
Published 1 month ago by Kev
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious opera
Offenbach is regarded as a composer of comic opera, Orpheus and so on. The Tales of Hoffman is sometimes put in the same box but it should be taken out wiped and put to sit beside... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Brian Pickering
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
The singing is wonderful and the music fabulous. Domingo when he was at his very best. Good Production lovely setting.
Published 14 months ago by L. L. Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Hoffmann
I have always loved the Tales of Hoffmann, since I was a child. I prefer the sequence which starts with Olympia, followed by the barcarolle.
Published 16 months ago by Tony
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was looking forward to watching this opera for the first time and took guidance from the Amazon Reviews.
This DVD is actually awful. Read more
Published on 1 April 2012 by K. Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Opera lover
Lovely production and cast.

Fantastic performance and singing by Domingo.

The drawback of the opera is the 3 "flames" of Hoffman , especially Antonia, which... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by arildo
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Hoffmann
This is the best performance I have seen of this opera !
Every thing about it is first class----the singing, the acting,the scenes are all superb. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2010 by Bernard Akester
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