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- Adaptational Dumbass: Partially due to essentially being turned into a Hoffmann protagonist, who are of course not in on all the twists (and often not quite there, either) the way Hoffmann the author is.
- Adaptational Villainy: A side effect of Hoffmann being combined with his character Erasmus (of The Lost Reflection) is that it turns the classic author into a killer on the run from the Venecian authorities... maybe.
- Adaptational Heroism: On the other hand, Hoffmann is portrayed as a swinging bachelor, whereas two of the three protagonists from the tales adapted for the opera committed adultery by having their romances. This too was inspired by personal experiences in Hoffmann's life.
- The Alcoholic: The Framing Device shows him telling his stories in Luther's Tavern, where he's sitting Drowning His Sorrows.
- Character Exaggeration: Arguably, though the intention may have been to portray him at his lowest point.
- Composite Character: The play combines him with his protagonists Nathaniel and Erasmus. (More often then not, Hoffmann wrote his nameless Author Avatar narrator not as an extraordinary person, but as someone with a tendency to run into such people). Aspects of his own life did leak into his fiction, so this merging isn't completely unfounded.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Seems to have a chronic case of this, with all of his romances ending tragically for various reasons.
- Historical Domain Character: A fictionalized version of the author who wrote the original stories the play was adapted from.
- Last-Name Basis: Possibly because Ernst Theodor Wilhelm/Amadeus is a bit of a mouthful.
- The Münchausen: It's often kept ambiguous whether or not his stories are actually true. After all, he's known as an author of fantasy.
- The Storyteller: Is already a famed poet, and starts narrating the titular tales because a group of students at the bar really want to hear some interesting stories.
- Took a Level in Cynic: By the time of the Framing Device, his experiences have driven him to dislike both women and relationships in general. Depending on the production, the Muse may be able to bring back some of his old idealism through his reignited passion for art.
- Unwitting Pawn: The villains all manage to either manipulate or outwit him fairly easily.
- Weirdness Magnet: Hoffmann's characters tend to be this to begin with, though it's exaberated here as the opera retells three of his stories.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Particularly in the Olympia tale, wherein he falls in love with the titular unfeeling automation. However, even some of his more cynical acts later on (such as his 10-Minute Retirement and his stabbing of Peter Schlemil) are still derived from a sense of misplaced optimism.
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Some stagings cut The Reveal that Nicklausse is the Muse while still having a female soprano play the character, raising some questions about their gender without ever coming close to answering them. The 1951 film is an example of this. note
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Their relationship with the other characters vary a lot between different versions.
- The Muse's final scene can be performed as an Anguished Declaration of Love, or simply as a friendly pep talk. In the 1951 film, this scene isn't included, and Nicklausse is never said to be anything but Hoffmann's friend and companion.
- Pamela Brown's Nicklausse has seemingly no issues with Hoffmann romancing his loves as long as it doesn't get him into trouble. Compare this to Sylvia Kuziemski's take on the character, who considers Stella and all of her incarnations bad news and wants Hoffmann to stay far away from them.
- Sometimes (such as in the 1970 film) Nicklausse is entirely opposed to the villains and everything they stand for. Other times (as in the 1951 film) they get along with Spalanzani at least and aid him in the Olympia deception because It Amused Me. Occasionally they even join forces with The Enemy because of their shared goal to keep Hoffmann and Stella apart, with at least one incarnation of the Muse even helping Dr. Mirakel murder Antonia!
- Adaptational Mundanity: Inverted. They have been changed from a fairly straightforward (and minor) Satellite Character to a muse in human form, and have as a result had thier role expanded to become The Lancer to Hoffmann.
- Allegorical Character: Essentially a personification of Hoffmann's creativity, and perhaps also his common sense.
- Angel Unaware: Is actually the Muse of Poetry, appearing to Hoffmann to ensure that he doesn't abandon his craft. Hoffmann outright calls her an angel during The Reveal, which sometimes acts as the finale of the opera.
- Composite Character: In the play, Hoffmann's best friend (there named Frièderick) and The Muse were different characters. A twofer, as Frièderick was himself based on Friedrich from The Lost Reflection and Siegmund from The Sandman, (both being ignored voices of reason in their respective Hoffmann story).
- Depending on the Writer: Can range from anything between Ambiguously Evil to an Only Sane Man.
- Gender Flip: Based ''mostly' on Friedrich, a male character. While Nicklausse presents as male for much of the opera, they also appear in female form as the Muse.
- Good Is Not Nice: Her Felsenstein incarnation is an ill-tempered contrarian who constantly rants about Hoffmann's associates... and generally turns out to be right about them.
- Incredibly Conspicuous Drag: Depending on the production, her look might be more Bifauxnen than anything. Of course, the audience are in on the secret from the beginning, so it might be played more for stylish Fanservice than anything.
- The Lancer: Nicklausse is Hoffmann's ever-present "shadow," and the only other character to appear throughout the entire story.
- Medium Awareness: Adresses the audience directly at the start of the performance, even mentioning her own imaginary status.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Played With. She outright claims to be imaginary in the prologue of the 1970 film, but she still clearly interacts with other characters, even during the Framing Device.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Takes the form of a man named Nicklausse to get close to Hoffmann.
- Adaptational Wimp: The 1916 film completely cuts the whole Four Aliases, One Character element, and thus reduces Lindorf to just some guy who gets Cuckolded.
- Big Bad: Regardless of whether the tales are true or not, he's the instigator of the conflict and the source of Hoffmann's suffering.
- Composite Character: Coppélius, Doctor. R. and Dappertutto were not connected at all in the original stories. Here, their counterpart are all implied to be guises used by the same entity.
- Corrupt Politician: Well, we don't actually know what he's like on the job, but he's willing to use some rather underhanded tactics when it comes to his love life.
- Expy: Based on "The Enemy" from A New Year Eve's Adventure, who was a blatant Take That! to Hoffmann's romantic rival Johann Gerhard Graepel, the son of a wealthy merchant. Graepel was in an arranged marriage with Hoffmann's crush, Julia Mark, and was described by both the writer and several of his contemporaries as a Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense Upper-Class Twit Kavorka Man. He sadly turned out to be an alcoholic abusive husband who "beat her when he had no words", and the marriage ended in an (at the time, controversial) divorce.
- Every Man Has His Price: Doesn't hesitate to bribe Stella's servants Andres into giving him a letter meant for Hoffmann.
- Manipulative Bastard: Steals Hoffmann's date away from him by ensuring that he's not given her love letter.
- Master of Disguise: The 1951 movie outright shows the three main antagonists remove their Latex Perfection masks, revealing Lindorf's face underneath.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: He's never shown carrying out the duties of a councillor. Justified in that the Framing Device is set over the course of just a few hours during the evening.
- Satanic Archetype: Enters from a hellish red hall in the 1951 film. In the Felsenstein staging, Hoffmann outright accuses him of being Satan himself.
- Adaptational Job Change: Downplayed in the 1951 film, where she's starring in the fictional show The Ballet of the Enchanted Butterfly rather than the usual Don Giovanni. However, we can infer from a poster that she has also been in a production of Giovanni in the past.
- Adaptational Mundanity: Compared to both Signora from Don Juan (who was implied to be possessed by the actual character of Donna Anna) and Julia from A New Year Eve's Adventure (actually the demonic Gulietta). Stella is meant to be the "real" woman who ispired them, even if she's heavily fictionalized herself.
- Expy: Stella wasn't a real person, strictly speaking. Rather, she seems to be a stand-in for various people in Hoffmann's life. Her Real Life counterpart(s) would be Dora Hatt (an older married woman Hoffmann had an affair with while tutoring her), Demoiselle Neuherr (an actress he had a one-night stand with) and/or Julia Mark (another pupil of his he ended up in a love triangle with, leading to a rivalry with her husband, and inspiring several of his stories.) The latter two happened after Hoffmann married his wife Mishaelina...
- The specifics of her portraying Donna Anna in Don Giovanni might be taken from the actress Signora of Hoffmann's Don Juan story.
- Meaningful Name: Stella means "star", which is Lampshaded.
- Meta Casting: An opera singer who is almost inevitably played by an actual opera singer.
- The 1951 film turns her into a ballet dancer and casts Moira Shearer to play her, to similar effect.
- Satellite Love Interest: Most of what we know about her comes from Hoffmann's narration and what we can discern from his "other" three love interests, who all supposedly represent one aspect of her personality. Subverted in the 1970 film, where she actually meets up with Hoffmann at the end to have a conversation about their relationship with him. It ends with Hoffmann dumping her.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears at the very beginning and the very end of the opera, but her rocky relationship with Hoffmann is what leads to him telling his tales in the first place.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Her counterpart in Don Juan died at the end. Of course — as mentioned above — that wasn't the only woman she was inspired by...
- Sympathetic Adulterer: In the 1916 film, she has an affair with Hoffmann despite already being engaged to Lindorf.
- The Voiceless: Often, though — as stated above — not always.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the 1970 film, Lindorf has to practically steal the letter from him. Later, he leads Stella to Hoffmann himself, showing clear regret over what happened.
- Alternate Self: He's the "real" counterpart to the servant characters appearing throughout the tales.
- Ambiguous Disorder: All the servant characters are meant to have some form of disability, and his are said to be of the mental variety. That's about as specific as it gets.
- Canon Foreigner: Seems to be an original creation of this work, not based on any particular historical figure or Hoffmann character.
- The Fool: Concieved as such, though how much this actually comes across is Depending on the Actor.
- Impeded Messenger: Granted, in his case it was mostly his own fault.
- Only in It for the Money: Possibly, given that he happily compromises his morals for a high enough prize.
- The Quisling: Lindorf manages to Buy Them Off and get the message and key intended for Hoffmann.
- The Renfield: Basically ends up becoming this in the 1951 film. (Made even better by Robert Helpmann later donning a rather Dracula-esque outfit.)
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the 1970 film, when Stella realizes what he has done, he quickly darts out the door.
- The Bartender: Basically serves this role.
- Cool Old Guy: By the standards of this story, at least. He doesn't have much competition...
- Fun Personified: Has shades of this in the 1970 film, though it might be mostly put on for the sake of his customers.
- The Ghost: Doesn't appear in the 1916 film, though his restaurant still does.
- Historical Domain Character: Presumably based on Christoph Lutter, co-owner of the (still running) restaurant-with-wine-cellar Lutter & Wegner, which the tavern may or may not be identified with. (Though the real establishment is in Berlin, not in Nuremberg.)
- Last-Name Basis: Is firmly in place.
- Nice Guy: From what we see of him, he seems to be a pleasant, easygoing man who cares about providing good service.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: The closest thing he has to a negative trait is his insistance that all patrons should have a pleasant stay, especially the wealthy councillor.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His business partner, August Friedrich Wegner, is only ever alluded to in the name of the tavern (at best.) While Lutter did eventually become the sole owner of the place, this was five years after Hoffmann's death.
- The Alcoholic: It's said that he drank quite a bit. This might not be very surprising, given that he is the star of a drinking song.
- Author Avatar: It's generally implied that Hoffmann identifies with Klien-Zack, which says a lot about his self-image.
- Early-Bird Cameo: A jester who looks very similar to him appears at the very beginning of the 1951 film as an automation on a clock tower.
- The Ending Changes Everything: With the song's reprise in the 1970 film, Hoffmann reveals that the song was one big Take That! to Lindorff (or retroactively transforms it into one).
- The Ghost: By virtue of being a fictional character, only mentioned in a song. He does however appear in person in an Imagine Spot in the 1951 film, played by choreographer Frederick Ashton.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: His nose is covered in tobacco, according to the song. Which one it qualifies as depends on whether or not the reprise is included.
- Gonk: A dwarf with a large belly, whose bones make audible noises while moving. The 1951 film also portrayes him as a jester with a Gag Nose, on top of all that.
- Hopeless Suitor: Hoffmann gets distracted while singing and starts vaxing about his lost love. In the 1951 film, the result is that Klien-Zack is shown to have feelings for a noblewoman way out of his league (played — not insignificantly — by Stella's actress, Moira Shearer).
- Living Statue: Well, more like living mug decoration. The 1951 film tells his tale through him and other inanimate figures coming to life and performing a dance number.