The production of Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffman marked the start of over twenty years of Svoboda’s collaboration with stage director Alfréd Radok, bringing together two exceptional talents with unbounded theatrical imaginations. The stage with contrasting set elements and structures was divided into two zones. The surrealistic interiors of Hoffmann’s dreams were in the first plane: there was an enormous sphere on the right, which opened like a locket in the third act to reveal a portrait of Antonia and her mother. The second plane contained the fluorescent, technical world of the future, symbolised by an iron structure with large electric insulators. The visual collage created by Radok and Svoboda overflowed with poetic imagination, colours, sounds and shapes while remaining stylistically pure.
Jacques Offenbach: THE TALES OF HOFFMANN / HOFFMANNOVY POVÍDKY
The Great Opera of 5th May Prague
premiere: 29. 8. 1946
director: Alfréd Radok
conductor: Karel Ančerl
costume designer: Jan Kropáček
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