Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann

May 17 and 18 at 7:30PM and May 19 at 2:30PM
Arthur Miller Theatre (1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor)
Performed in a new English adaptation by Daniel J. Brylow

Blind dates can be the worst, especially when you’re paired with a mechanical doll, a ghostly apparition, or a shadow-stealing courtesan.

AOT is pleased to present a reimagined production of The Tales of Hoffmann from Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Opera Theatre, which BroadwayWorld hailed as “ethereal and uplifting,” with a dreamlike setting that “highlights the fantasy in this ‘opera fantastique.’” It tells of poet E.T.A. Hoffmann’s unending search for true love, doing so with a great deal of humor, a dose of magic, and some of Jacque Offenbach’s most memorable melodies, including the “Doll Song” and the Venetian Barcarolle.

Performed in the intimate setting of the Arthur Miller Theatre on the University of Michigan’s North Campus, this enthralling adaptation by director Daniel J. Brylow is sung in English, with a reduced cast, musical ensemble, and playing time from the original—still a complete work of musical art, however, that instead of smaller feels “essential and more concentrated.” The ensemble of singers now numbers only 13, and as there are more parts than people, the villain is played by the previous lover in each subsequent tale—a topsy-turvy yank toward the present day for these old fables. Though Hoffmann’s pursuit of love is foiled by sinister figures at every turn, he is rewarded in the end by the never-ending admiration of his Muse and a newfound love for his art.

Local favorite Mary Martin is among the sopranos playing the lover-turned-villainesses, and tenor Robert Stahley, who has recently made role debuts at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and Wolf Trap Opera, will sing Hoffmann. Casting will continue through the fall with audition calls in Ann Arbor during early September.

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