This 1980 production of Les Contes d'Hoffmann is surely becoming a classic in the Royal Opera's repertoire. Vittorio Grigòlo was amazing in the prologue as the delusional and drunken Hoffmann. And his transformation into the young impressionable lover throughout the three acts was every bit believable. Sonya Yoncheva's Antonia was probably the best of the three soprano roles (below).
I quite forgot the first number in Porgy and Bess is Summertime! Beautifully sung by Nicole Cabell as Bess. On a whole, the chorus number was better sung than the solo numbers - where the diction was generally inadequate. The set (Michael Yeargan) was three-dimensional and worked really well with the many scenes in this work. John Wilson was in his elements in the pit and the orchestra responded with a rhythmic boisterous sound - the best part of the evening.