Les Contes D'Hoffman - Edmonton Opera takes us to the Circus and there is much to see and hear Under the Big Top!
It shouldn't be surprising that Circus and Opera go together so well - both are bigger than real life and dramatic. With Edmonton Opera's Les Contes D'Hoffman ( The Hoffman Tales ) opening this week at The Jubilee Auditorium, the merging of the two is almost flawless. Designed by Camellia Koo, it is visually stunning, with striped canvas in sepia tones and a colour palette and attention to detail that fuels the romantic nature of the story. It is romantic in a nostalgic way - you almost expect to smell popcorn and cotton candy and the lighting suggests that it is filtered through imaginary dust kicked up from the floor. Although he was still tweaking them at the Preview I saw, Lighting Designer Jason Hand created many gorgeous moments. It's best when he plays with the shadows, like at the end of Act One when the crowd taunts Hoffman for his misplaced love and their leering shadows crawl menacingly up the sides of the striped tent. The story is fairly straigh