The Tales of Hoffmann
Barbier and Michel Carré had previously written a play, Les contes fantastiques d'Hoffmann, which was produced at the Odéon Theatre in Paris in 1851, and which Offenbach had seen.
The stories used in the opera were:
"Der Sandmann", 1816.
"Rath Krespel" 1818.
"Das verlorene Spiegelbild" from Die Abenteuer der Sylvester-Nacht, 1814.
The aria "Chanson de Kleinzach" in the Prologue is based on the short story "Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober", 1819.
The Barcarolle, "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour" is the opera's most famous number.
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