Long-Lost Manuscript of Tales of Hoffmann Discovered in Paris Opera Archives
Thursday, July 15, 2004
PARIS, July 15 (AFP) ó A handwritten copy of the original score for Jacques Offenbach's last opera, The Tales of Hoffmann ó thought lost in a fire ó has been found in the Paris Opera's archives, opera management announced Thursday.
Jacques Offenbach Offenbach died in 1880, but the work ó which focuses on the German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann and his tragic quest for love ó saw its posthumous premiere at the OpÈra-Comique in the French capital the following year.
Most music historians believed the original score had been lost in a fire at the OpÈra-Comique in May 1887, but it would seem that a copy of the manuscript was retrieved from the burning building.
The Tales of Hoffmann has been reworked several times, with certain sections removed and others added after the discovery of fragments of Offenbach's original score.
A case of suspected fraud at the Paris Opera library forced the company to reorganize its archives, a process that helped uncover the lost manuscript, management said.
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