Bregenzs Tales of Hoffmann is different from everything you saw before. The New York Times praised the thoughtfulness and creativity of Stefan Herheims new production, devised by the director as a search for ones own self in a sparkling drag show. A shining-toned (NYT) Hoffmann is embodied by tenor Daniel Johansson in the title role. He is supported by a fantastic cast: Rachel Frenkel is positively ideal as Muse and Niklausse (Kurier), Kerstin Avemo as Olympia is endowed with brilliant, cheekily extemporized coloraturas (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Michael Volle sings the parts of Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr. Miracle and Dappertutto, the works four villains, with warmth and intensity (NYT) and Mandy Fredrich is a finelyphrased Antonia (Kurier).
Offenbach's masterpiece, based on three stories by the German author E.T.A. Hoffmann, is both a three-act opera and a trilogy of taut, individual dramas, all rolled into one.This Geneva production from 2002 features baritone Marc Laho in the tour-de-force triple villain roles, with three different standout sopranos as the tales' three heroines. French producer Olivier Py caused an uproar among Geneva operagoers with a staging of Tales of Hoffmann that features full-frontal male and female nudity and simulated on-stage lesbian and heterosexual sex.
Guitarist Wolf Hoffmann, formerly of the underrated German heavy metal band Accept, focused his love of classical music into a fascinating instrumental solo album, Classical. Yngwie Malmsteen is probably the only other metal guitarist who has tackled classical music in a serious way. A marriage of metal and classical, Classical includes interpretations of famous compositions by Georges Bizet, Edvard Grieg, Peter Tchaikovsky, Bedrich Smetana, Maurice Ravel, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Edward Elgar. Hoffmann plays all the guitars and he's joined by a handful of guests like Damn Yankees and Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Michael Cartellone, Giant and country music session bass guitarist Mike Brignardello, keyboardist Al Kooper, and bass guitarist Peter Baltes, a former Accept bandmate. In the liner notes, Hoffmann explains that he gives his versions a twist on the originals. Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is transformed into flowing hard rock. Bizet's "Habanera" (from "Carmen") effectively weaves classical guitar and meaty electric guitar lines.
All the important expressions for effective negotiation and discussion in German. A practical self-study manual.
Clear double-page presentation: German on the left, English on the right. …