Sidney Opera · Sidney · September 1996

This production sadly had to be based on the Richard Bonynge edition of the score, which did not include all the more recently found material, but some new parts were added at least. It was the largest show the Australian Opera had produced at that stage and was broadcast on television by ABC. The choreography was by Graeme Watson.

Production Team
Sets: Stephen Brimson-Lewis
Costumes: Angus Strathie
Lighting: Heather Carson
Conductor: Richard Bonynge

Casts included
Kirsti Harms, Graeme Ewer, Leslie Andrews, Anthony Elek, Anson Austin, Barry Mora, Deborah Riedel

"Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann has been a work in progress for more than a century, but this Bonynge-Negrin collaboration may be the final word on this gothic fantasy... Offenbach's genius was never more drawn than in the inspired and scholarly association of director Francisco Negrin and the Australian Opera orchestra..."

Dan Thompson
The Sunday Telegraph
September 1996

"Negrin as producer and Bonynge as conductor have made major contributions to the lively success of the AO's new Tales of Hoffmann... Negrin proves to my satisfaction that the good opinions he won with his staging of Giulio Cesare were not accidental or fleeting. The new production contains some ineptitudes, but its passages of enlightening novelty are far more numerous. In particular, Negrin and hi s scenic partners - Stephen Brimson Lewis, Heather Carson and Angus Strathie - have an unqualified success with the Olympia episode. The production's use of adapted dialogue in the unfinished Venitian scene gives it a mordantly Offenbachian tone and sense of direction to a grater extent than usual."

Roger Covell
The Sydney Morning Herald
September 1996

"The production is so innovative, complex and extraordinary that it is the production rather than its cast that one recalls more easily. ... The production will undoubtedly attract world appeal, for it is different colourful and interesting.....The net result was one of the most fascinating nights of Opera the Australian Opera has had this year... An exciting, spectacular production."

Graham Harris
The Wentwoth Courrier
September 1996

"Director Francisco Negrin, whose Julius Caesar was such a hit, has some brilliant moments in this production."

Maria Prerauer
The Australian
September 1996