Top positive review
Great all round production
on 23 June 2017
Hoffman lends itself to many interpretations, this is my seventh if you include one from the met on sky arts. What tempted me was Kathleen Kim and Natalie Dessay. I am not disappointed. The staging is most innovative with stage proportions altering before ones eyes, props and scenery change in most interesting ways, rooms switch, staircases come and go, and projected backdrops add atmosphere from time to time. The general background is black or dark colours, as are many of the costumes.
The costumes are period, top hats and tails are in evidence and the ladies in long dresses in subdued colours.
what of the artists, well my favourite is Kathleen Kim as Olympia, great voice, acts the part well and what she does on stage with a little help from effects has to be seen to be believed.
Natalie Dessay sings sings passionately, tenderly as required and the whole presentation of Antonia is the best of all my recordings.It is very well done.
Michael Spires is an adequate Hoffman, sings well but is rather constrained compared with some interpretations.
Lindorf and his alter egos are sung and played by Laurent Naouri, a rich voiced baritone with hints of menace and occasionally restrained glee, He uses the same costume throughout. Does a first class job.
Francisco Vas is worthy of mention, a man of many parts, but does an excellent jo of "Franz" aria in Antonia
Michelle Losier is a pretty good muse and plays a good chap as Nicklause
Without going into further detail other scenes as the bar in the prologue and Giuletta are up to standard, but are bettered in other versions.
Overall this is a welcome addition to my library and is well worth the money. It will get many an airing.
The colourful insert is rather disappointing with just cast lists and credits, a minor point really.