Swan Song of Offenbach, the Outsider

By VIVIEN SCHWEITZER [NY Times, 25 November 2009]
“NO offense, but it’s a little like Frankenstein,” the director Bartlett Sher genially told the bass-baritone Alan Held during a recent rehearsal of Offenbach’s “Contes d’Hoffmann” (“Tales of Hoffmann”) at the Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Sher, referring to the menacing laugh that announces Dr. Miracle’s appearance in the second act, suggested that Mr. Held, who is singing the four villains, try a subtler approach.