Tales of Hoffman

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

October 21, 2009 -- 10:31 a.m.

I went to see Tales of Hoffman the opera last night at BYU with my grandmother. I enjoyed the performance, I thought the actors and set design was nice. I also found it amusing because of the heavy fantasy elements. Who'd ever thought that operas would have talking robots, cyberpunk goggles, witches that steal reflections, transvestite goddesses, swordfighting and evil sorcerer-doctors?

Anyway, I just find it amused that, if the same opera had been produced today, I think it would have been pooh-poohed by the critics because of the fantasy elements. Yet another example how, if you don't call something fantasy, academics like it anyway.

I wish I understood what the opera author was getting at with "three women in one". How on earth is Stella like a mechanical doll, a courtesan, and a singer with heart problems? Does she have the singer's voice, the courtesan's beauty and the mechanical doll's...uh, mechanicalness?

Rather lighthearted for an opera, even if all three of Hoffman's loves die. That's another thing I don't like about fantasy relationships--rarely do you find a serious trouble patch. Once they fall in love, they stay in love. That's why I like Into the Woods. And why Hoffman's loves had to die instead of breaking up with him.

Terry Pratchett's new Discworld novel is out/coming out soon (see picture). It's about Discworld soccer and racism/sexism. Should be good!


  1. Luisa Perkins said...

    I have seen many operas, but never Tales of Hoffman. I'll have to look around for a production of it.

    New Pratchett! Always a good thing.

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