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The Tales of Hoffmann. | by painting in light
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The Tales of Hoffmann.

An advertising / première souvenir pamphlet for the 1951 Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger film adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's opera 'Les contes d'Hoffmann'.

 

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. The film featured two great dancers / actors - Shearer and Helpmann.

 

# Moira Shearer was born in Fife, Scotland on 17th Jan 1926 and died in Oxford, England on 31st Jan 2006. The still features her as the doll 'Olympia' in act 1.

 

# Sir Robert Helpmann was born in Australia on 9th April 1909 and died in Sydney in 1986. Apart from his fame as a dancer he appeared in numerous films - as diverse as 'Hofmann' and 'Red Shoes' to -

 

1942 ~ the 'Dutch Quisling' in 'One of Our Aircraft Is Missing'

1963 ~ the Chinese Prince 'Tuan' in '55 Days at Peking'.

1986 ~ the 'child catcher' in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'

 

The still from act 1 features tenor Robert Rounseville [USA 1914 - 1974] as 'Hoffmann' and Robert Helpmann as 'Coppelius'.

 

Of note is that Rounseville created the role of 'Tom Rakewell' in Igor Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress in Venice on 11th September 1951.

 

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Taken sometime in 1950