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CARLTON Theatre, Haymarket
THREE SEPARATE PERFORMANCES DAILY
(TWO PERFORMANCES SUNDAY)
LONDON FILMS present
A POWELL AND PRESSBURGER PRODUCTION
MOIRA ROBERT LEONIDE SHEARER HELPMANN MASSINE
The Tales of Hoffmann "U"
COLOUR BY TECHNICOLOR
ROBERT ROUNSEVILLE PAMELA BROWN LUDMILLA TCHERINA ANN AYARS
SIR THOMAS BEECHAM, Bart.
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Written, Produced and Directed by
MICHAEL POWELL and
Decor and Costumes by
SADLER'S WELLS CHORUS
DISTRIBUTED BY BRITISH-LION
The Tales of Hoffmann
The Opera House in Nurnberg. Hoffmann sits in the auditorium watching a performance of the Dragonfly ballet. He is in love with Stella, the prima ballerina, who seems the embodiment of all his past loves. In the interval Hoffmann goes to Luther's Tavern. Here young students greet him. He sings them the ballad of Kleinzack. But the sight of Stella has reopened old wounds. "Would you hear the three tales of my folly of love?" he asks. The students gather round the punch bowl, with Hoffmann's companion, Nicklaus, who has accompanied him throughout his adventures, and his enemy Lindorf.
The Tale Of Olympia
As an inexperienced student in Paris, Hoffmann was tricked by two puppet-makers, Spalanzani and Coppelius, into falling in love with their latest creation, the doll Olympia. Spalanzani passes Olympia off as his daughter and hopes by this means to get some money from Hoffmann. At a ball given for her, Olympia sings the "Doll Song" and dances a ballet. Hoffmann is entranced. Only when Spalanzani and Coppelius fall out, and Coppelius destroys the doll in revenge does Hoffmann realise how he was fooled.
The Tale Of Giulietta
As a young man of the world, he was enslaved by a beautiful Venetian courtesan, Giulietta. Acting under the influence of the magician Dapertutto, Giulietta captures his reflection and so gains possession of his soul. Hoffmann kills her former lover Schlemil in a duel, to get the key to her room. He hurries back to her, but finds she has left with Dapertutto. Mad with rage, he flings the key against her mirror. It cracks, and his reflection reappears. He has regained his soul.
The Tale Of Antonia
As a mature artist and poet, Hoffmann falls in love with Antonia. Her mother, a singer, has already died of consumption [Tuberculosis]. Crespel, her father, through grief at his wife's death, is now the half-mad wreck of a formerly great conductor. Crespel keeps his daughter in seclusion on an island in the Greek Archipelago and forbids her to aggravate her own weakness by singing. He also forbids his deaf servant Franz to admit either Hoffmann or the quack Dr. Miracle who killed his wife. Franz misunderstands, and in turn shows them in. Hoffmann realises Antonia is ill, and she promises him not to sing again. Dr. Miracle persuades her it is her mother's wish she should disobey. She does so, and dies in his arms.
On the stage of the Opera House, it is the finale of the Stella Ballet. In the tavern Hoffmann's audience is spellbound. Hoffmann's tales are told and with the telling Hoffmann finds his true destiny as a poet. Stella appears at the door of the tavern and looks down at him. But Lindorf, who has also understood the meaning of the Tales goes to meet her and together they pass out into the town.
PROLOGUE and EPILOGUE Sung by : Played by : Stella - Moira Shearer Hoffmann Robert Rounseville Robert Rounseville Lindorf - Robert Helpmann Nicklaus Monica Sinclair Pamela Brown Kleinzack - Frederick Ashton Luther Fisher-Morgan Meinhart Maur Nathaniel Rene Soames John Ford Hermann Owen Brannigan Richard Golding Andreas Philip Leaver ACT I - THE TALE OF OLYMPIA Olympia Dorothy Bond Moira Shearer Hoffmann Robert Rounseville Robert Rounseville Nicklaus Monica Sinclair Pamela Brown Spalanzani Grahame Clifford Leonide Massine Coppelius Bruce Dargavel Robert Helpmann Cochenille Murray Dickie Frederick Ashton ACT II - THE TALE OF GIULIETTA Giulietta Margherita Grandi Ludmilla Tcherina Hoffmann Robert Rounseville Robert Rounseville Nicklaus Monica Sinclair Pamela Brown Dapertutto Bruce Dargavel Robert Helpmann Schlemil Owen Brannigan Leonide Massine Pitichinaccio Murray Dickie Lionel Harris ACT III - THE TALE OF ANTONIA Antonia Ann Ayars Ann Ayars Hoffmann Robert Rounseville Robert Rounseville Nicklaus Monica Sinclair Pamela Brown Crespel Owen Brannigan Mogens Wieth Franz Grahame Clifford Leonide Massine Dr. Miracle Bruce Dargavel Robert Helpmann Mother's voice Joan Alexander -
Ballet in Prologue and Epilogue danced by
Moira Shearer and Edmond Audran
"THE TALES OF HOFFMANN" was made at LONDON FILM STUDIO, Shepperton, England
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