Klára Kolonits in Bravery Roles in Hungarian State Opera’s New Production The Tales of Hoffmann


After a 25-year hiatus, Offenbach’s magnum opus returns to the repertoire of the Hungarian State Opera in a much anticipated staging by Kriszta Székely. The production of The Hoffmann Tales is presented in double distribution at the Erkel Theater, the premiere on December 4, 2021 stars Klára Kolonits, Boldizsár László and Péter Kálmán under the direction of Gergely Kesselyák.

From the news of German author ETA Hoffmann, in The Tales of Hoffmann, his unfinished final work, Jacques Offenbach departs from the style of his hilarious and satirical operettas, full of the witty and mocking social criticism of his time. Naturally, this work is not devoid of humor either, but the romantic adventures of the poet are dominated by dark chromatic nuances, sometimes fateful. The manuscript left by Offenbach has led to the creation of several versions over the years, of which the Opera now features the most popular version from 1907.

Accompanying Hoffmann throughout his search for the absolute ideal of femininity and bringing him misery are four villainous characters, forcing him to constantly face death even in his amorous drunken state. The Opera is preparing two kinds of interpretations for its new production. In the first, Klara Kolonits interprets the four female roles as foreseen by Offenbach himself. The other features four different singers, young Hungarian talents – Réka Piroska Jonas like Olympia, Lilla horti like Antonia, Zsuzsanna Ádam like Giulietta, and Eva bernath like Stella – in these roles. They are associated with exceptional soloists such as Boldizsár László / Zoltán Nyári in the title role, Peter Kalman (Lindorf / Coppélius / Miracle / Dapertutto), Viktória Mester (Muse / Nicklausse) as well as Tibor szappanos, Geza Gabor, Bence pataki and András Körösi.

Klara Kolonits. The Tales of Hoffmann. Photo: Valter Berecz

Although his training is mainly in spoken theater, Kriszta Székely has several successful opera commissions to his credit, including The respectful whore and The yellow princess. However, Offenbach’s masterpiece is his first full opera to stage, initially scheduled for the previous season. His production interprets the stories of Hoffmann as a certain spiritual journey that takes place in the waiting room of a railway station with spectacular sets of Nelli Pallos, costumes Dora pattantyus, and choreography by Krisztián Gergye. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Choir (choirmaster : Gabor Csiki) are carried out by Gergely Kesselyak.

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