Classic Operatic Movie, "Tales of Hoffmann", In Ludlow, April 14
In an effort to feature what it considers great films that never fully captured the public's attention, FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) will offer the film version of the opera "The Tales of Hoffmann" on Sunday, at 2 PM, in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium. The film is considered a masterful integration of cinematic technique, audio recording, and translation of a great opera into a motion picture.
The opera dramatises the three great romances in the life of the poet-hero presented in a series of flashbacks. Hoffmann's tales depict the struggle between human love and the artist's dedication to his work. Hoffmann loses each of the women he loves but gains instead poetic inspiration -- the ability to transform painful experiences into art.
Hoffmann is a lovelorn young man in Nuremberg who is watching his latest love, Stella, dance in the ballet. In the interval he goes to the tavern where he tells his friends the tales of the three major loves of his life. Each story forms a separate act of this magnificently staged opera. It is NOT just a film of a staged production but a truly filmic version of the Offenbach opera.
The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera 'Les Contes d'Hoffmann', written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the artistic team that created the 'Red Shoes' . The film stars Moira Shearer, Robert Helpmann, and Léonide Massine, and features Robert Rounseville, Pamela Brown, Ludmilla Tchérina, and Ann Ayars. It uses a soundtrack recorded for the film conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham; principal singers are Bond, Ayars, Grandi, Rounseville, and Dargavel; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays. The film's production team includes cinematographer Christopher Challis and production and costume designer Hein Heckroth, who was nominated for two 1952 Academy Awards for his work.
The movie is open to the public and is free; donations to underwrite such programs are appreciated. For information, www.fola.us or call802-228-7239.