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Christian Dalzon, December 2013

This Giancarlo del Monaco staging of Hoffmann’s Tales is a novel and very dark take on Offenbach’s “Opéra fantastique,” and it is a very appealing one.

Vocally, we are in the top-notch category, with no one trying to outdo anyone else. Venezuelan tenor Aquiles Machado is a first class Hoffmann…he is a convincing actor with all the vocal requirements for this treacherous role.

All three feminine parts are held with incredible talent. Pobalador (Olympia) shows no strain in the coloraturas of “Les oiseaux dans la charmille…”, María Bayo is a strong Antonia who does excellent justice to “Elle a fui, la tourterelle…”, while Kutzarova’s Giulietta…pins a classy characterization of the seductive intriguer. Russian bass Konstantin Gorny receives a justified ovation. The voice is powerful in all registers and the depiction of the four villains is compelling. His demanding “Scintille diamant…” is sung with a firm voice and outstanding panache. Katharine Goeldner is more than convincing in the difficult part of Nicklausse…All other supporting roles are extremely well cast. © 2013 Read complete review

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