ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 9, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 15
TV Times  

‘Le Manuscrit disparu’- Rekindling forgotten art

‘Le Manuscrit disparu’, the documentary on the story of the unfinished manuscript ‘The Tales of Hoffman’ of Jacques Hoffenbach, which was stolen, re-edited and forged after his death., will be screened at 3.00 pm on Tuesday September 11 and at 6.30 pm on Wednesday September 12 at Alliance Francaise, Colombo

The first performance of the Tales of Hoffmann, one of most popular and most performed operas in the world, was held at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on February 10, 1881. Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) had worked almost ten years on his masterwork but died just before completing it. Over the years, the manuscript would be transformed, cut, purloined or forged. It disappeared and reappeared several times, in several different locations.

Directed by Gérard Caillat, the documentary takes the form of an inquest, in which all parties involved-real or putative heirs, music editors, musicologists, opera managers, conductors and directors-are summoned from Paris, New York, Hamburg and Burgundy to offer their explanations and interpretations. Archival documents and excerpts from some of the greatest productions of Tales of Hoffmann serve to support the investigation.

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