Monday , May 20 2024

Lost Offenbach Score Found

I know very little about opera because it drives me insane – or vice versa – but this sounds pretty important:

    A handwritten, original score that may hold the key to Jacques Offenbach’s true intentions for his final and greatest opera, “The Tales of Hoffmann,” has been discovered in the Paris National Opera archives, the organization said Thursday.

    The manuscript — once thought to have been destroyed in a fire — was found during a reorganization of the opera library. It provides essential and complete information on “Tales of Hoffmann” as it was first performed for the public in 1881.

    Over the years, numerous versions and publications of the opera have been produced, each relying on new discoveries of handwritten fragments of the score.

    The newly discovered score — which contains corrections written by the composer and others after his death — further helps fill in the blanks.

    “Tales of Hoffmann” is the story of a young poet who regales his friends in a tavern with stories of his romantic misadventures. The characters change, but each tale features a woman just beyond his reach and a man who thwarts Hoffmann in his quest for true love.

    It was already known that the opera’s famous Giulietta act was cut by the Opera-Comique director after dress rehearsal for the premiere. But the new manuscript reveals details of other cuts made during rehearsals that were previously unknown, and helps to explain why the “Tales of Hoffmann” was long considered a poorly constructed piece.

    The Paris National Opera made a digital copy of the score before handing it over to the music department of the French National Library. The Opera will remain the owner of the manuscript and all rights attached to it, it said in a statement. [AP]

If everyone would just go and look through their files and attics and all that RIGHT NOW, then we could run all the stories like this at one time and be done with it.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

Check Also

The Knights, Zankel Hall, May 16, 2024

Concert Review: The Knights – Gabriel Kahane’s ‘Heirloom’ (NY Premiere) with Jeffrey Kahane, Plus Anna Clyne, Jessie Montgomery, Mozart

There was a bit of an underground vibe in Zankel Hall, The contrast between Kahane's performance as a troubadour and his creative energy as a classical composer is striking.