Offenbach began writing his final operatic statement, "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" in 1877. The project was to occupy him for the rest of his life. For the first time ever he worked slowly, deliberating carefully over the music.The result of his labour was to be his most profound opera, but tragically he was to die before completing it, so that task was handed over to Ernest Guiraud. The premiere took place at the Opéra-Comique on 10th February, 1881 and ran for more than a hundred performances in its first season. Presented by Donald Macleod.