Like most operas, The Tales of Hoffmann, by 19th-century, German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach, is a stirring saga that involves forbidden love, ominous symbolism, and, of course, tragic, untimely death. But unlike other operas, Tales also features enchanted mirrors, trippy magic goggles, and animatronic sex dolls. Now thats an opera! Based on short stories by German fantasy and horror author E.T.A. Hoffmann, with a French libretto written by Jules Barbier, Tales tells the story of a poet, Hoffman, on a drunken odyssey of love where he must chose between the Muse and her rival, Stella. Because the Muse is a supernatural broad, she uses all cosmic power at her disposal (the spirit realm, disguises, spells) to win Hoffmanns love. Its like The Bachelor, except more ass-kicky and awesome. Presented by Florida Grand Opera, The Tales of Hoffmann opens at the Arsht Centers Ziff Ballet Opera House (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) Saturday night, with performances through February 5. Elizabeth Futral performs as all four of Hoffmanns love interests, and Canadian tenor David Pomeroy makes his FGO debut. The music is led by Lucy Arner, a rare appearance of a female conductor.
Sat., Jan. 22, 7 p.m., 2011