Malvern Hills Opera

The Tales of Hoffmann

by Offenbach

Performed at the Malvern Festival Theatre in June 1998 Review below

English adaptation by Tom Boyd

Music Director: William Bell - Stage Director: Tom Boyd

Principals: Hoffmann - Patrick Bridden; Lindorf/Coppelius/Dapertutto/Dr Miracle - David Purcell; Olympia- Maria Lancaster; Giullietta - Susan Black; Antonia - Deb Blake; Niklaus - Josephine Williamson

Patrick Briddon as E.T.A. Hoffmann - Josephine Williamson as Niklaus, Susan Black as Giulietta

Maria Lancaster as Olympia, Richard Weatherill as Cochenille


left: David Purcell as Coppelius , Colin Mills as Spalanzani - right: Debra Blake as Antonia, John Frith as Crespel



"Offenbach’s last and unfinished opera, The Tales of Hoffmann, exists in so many versions that an authentic one is impossible to conceive of. Tom Boyd’s production for the Malvern Hills Opera made a successful choice from these many sources to give us a most pleasing and convincing evening’s entertainment with a cast of talented local singers. Mingling spoken dialogue with vocal recitative, it attempted, with considerable success, to make a synthesis of the many interpretations of this somewhat chaotic opera. The costuming was sumptuous and colourful, the lighting and other effects made excellent use of the latest in stage technology and the cast had been thoroughly and efficiently rehearsed. There were few of the common first night gliches and the whole performance was projected with infectious, lively enthusiasm. I advise anybody who is looking for enjoyable, satisfying entertainment of a high standard not to miss one of the two remaining performances in the Festival Theatre this week."

Robert South