A daring but successful concept by the director - which did away with much of what has become familiar in Hoffmann productions: mutual bitching by Hoffmann and Lindorf, bribing the messenger, drinking scenes in Lutter´s tavern, Spalanzani and Coppelius assuring their mutual friendship, Cochenille, Elias´s bankruptcy, Franz´s cabaret in the Antonia act, Hoffmann´s duel with Schlemihl, the Diamond Aria and the Sextet, and many dialogues. I did not miss them.
This loss was compensated by a consequent director´s concept and a streamlined opera with a host of surprising and carefully thought up original details which are rarely seen in such quantity and quality. Panta rhei. Everything was in meaningful motion all the time.
Everything was fine musically. The orchestra played precisely and dynamically. I did not hear a false tone all evening. All singers fulfilled their task well and on a high level, so it would be unfair to extol any of them. The choir was directed well scenically with many creative details. Also vocally they performed well; only in the Olympia act the orchestra and the choir were out of tact for one short time and hardly noticeably. Many theatres in much bigger German towns would be proud to be able to boast such musical quality.