‘Three women in the same woman! Three souls in a single soul!’
In this opéra comique by Jacques Offenbach, the writer E.T.A. Hoffmann is the protagonist who wanders through three of his own stories. His romances with the automaton Olympia, the critically ill Antonia, and the deceitful Giulietta all come to an end when the delicate dream meets the harsh reality. After a life devoted to operetta, Offenbach composed his first real opera shortly before his death. The work shows the same melodic richness as his operettas, but laughter here makes way for the melancholy poetry of vain hope and shattered ideals. The universality of the quest for true love, which clashes with the superficial projections of the subconscious, makes this opera a timeless work. Director Krzysztof Warlikowski and conductor Alain Altinoglu take on the challenge of revealing the essence of a work in which time and space are merely the remnants of a crumbled mosaic.