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The Tales of Hoffmann (dances in the opera)

Choreographer: Frank Staff
Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Lyricist: Edward Agate, Olive Moore
Set designer: George Kirsta
Costume designer: George Kirsta
World premiere: 2 Mar 1942, Ballet Rambert, Strand Theatre, London
Work note: This production by Albion Operas Limited included not only the prologue and three acts of 'The Tales of Hoffmann', but also an introduction and an excerpt from 'La Belle Hélène' (in the second part of Act III). Ballet Rambert did not exist as a company in 1942 because of a court case. Therefore, when Albion Operas commissioned Frank Staff to choreograph, he used several of the Rambert dancers. They appeared in the Introduction, Prologue, Act I (Olympia), Act II (Giulietta), and in his ballet 'On Mount Ida' in Act III (second part). 'On Mount Ida' had two parts: Waltz (three men and the female corps de ballet) and 'Judgment of Paris', which segued into the excerpt of the opera 'La Belle Hélène'. After the London performances, the production toured to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, and Hull in May-July 1942. (The world premiere date shown on this record is for the choreography, not for the opera.)
Production note: In the programme, George Kirsta is credited as 'Production, Decor and Costumes'.
Number of dancers: 12 women, 4 men
Music title: Les Contes d'Hoffman (1881); La Belle Hélène (1864)
Music details: Live music: orchestra
Music note: This production used the prologue and three acts after Jules Barbier. The English text was by Edward Agate with additional text by Olive Moore.
Source: Programme and reference file in the Rambert Archive
Archive catalogue: WORK/0127

Performances

Date Programme Venue
2 Mar 1942
Evening
The Tales of Hoffmann (dances in the opera)* Strand Theatre, London
15 Jun 1942
Evening
The Tales of Hoffmann (dances in the opera) Opera House, Manchester
Made by Palace