Tag Archives: E.T.A. Hoffmann

TALES OF HOFFMANN FOR HALLOWEEN

Tales of Hoffmann

Tales of Hoffmann

Yes, as if I wasn’t boring enough already I’m also into opera! Now, I know traditionally “the” Halloween Opera has always been Don Giovanni , but I’ve never bought into that notion since there’s really only one scene in the whole opera that qualifies as spooky and supernatural.

At this time of year I prefer Offenbach’s Tales Of Hoffmann. Not only is it full of appropriately eerie and menacing elements, but it’s also the perfect opera for you to share with someone who’s seeing their very first opera.

One of the reasons for that is that it’s in short segments, surrounded by a wraparound opening and finale. Offenbach adapts short stories written by E.T.A. Hoffmann, who in real life was a pre-Edgar Alan Poe author of eerie short stories in his native Austria during the 1800s. At any rate since this opera’s in short segments novices to the artform won’t have time to Continue reading

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GOTHIC HORROR: THE DEVIL’S ELIXIRS (1815)

Devil's Elixirs 2THE DEVIL’S ELIXIRS – By E.T.A. Hoffmann. Halloween month continues at Balladeer’s Blog with a look at another neglected work of Gothic Horror. As I’ve mentioned in the past, horror stories from back then that feature supernatural menaces OTHER than vampires and ghosts hold a special appeal to me. The Devil’s Elixirs features a doppleganger.

Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember I’m a big fan of Hoffmann’s macabre stories and have even reviewed Offenbach’s opera Tales of Hoffmann, based on various short stories of the Austrian writer. The central character of the novel is Medardus, a Capuchin monk. Continue reading

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