Summary of the Osnabrück »Hoffmann« of 2011 by Lorenzo Fioroni

An idiosyncratic, stimulating, surreal and simultaneously realistic Hoffmann at the Osnabrück Theatre. A kaleidoskopic Hoffmann full of surprises that breaks with almost all conventions that one is familiar with in productions of this opera. Every minute a new gag, a new point, all of which surprisingly unite to form a meaningful whole and do not strive after superficial effects and fit well into the opera´s message. Probably the most surprising Hoffmann I have ever seen. I recognised a big helping of Fellini. In his 2009 Met production Bartlett Sher had envisaged a Fellini-like Hoffmann, but did not deliver. Here I got it. Reminders of Fellini´s I Clowns, 8 1/2, Satyricon and Amarcord flashed through my head. The Osnabrück Hoffmann conveys the plot of the opera functionally by intensive gestures, impressive images and convincing scenic interactions by the actors. Sometimes it borders at farce, but does not tanscend this border und thus never gets out of touch with reality. Like in Fellini works this reality is exaggerated, but never becomes absurd.

An excellent orchestra was playing which produced a mighty sound. A Hoffmann which cries for a second and third visit, as one is overwhelmed by the mulitiplicity of scenic eruptions during the first visit.

A video trailer of this production can be watched under

Mark the perfectly played opening chords.