Olympia, from “The Tales of Hoffmann,” by Offenbach. Page from my coloring book, "Manga and Mozart." During rehearsals, unfortunately, Offenbach passed away, leaving the score incomplete. Because of this, many different versions of the score have been found over the years, even a century later in the 1980s.
The opera takes the real-life German poet, E.A. Hoffmann, and makes him a character in some of his own fantastical stories. Throughout the opera, Hoffmann falls for three women, all aspects of one: his on-again-off-again old flame, an opera singer named Stella.
One of the most famous characters, Olympia, is a life-sized mechanical wind-up doll, which symbolizes Stella's virtuosic singing abilities. Wearing special glasses given to him by Olympia's creator, Hoffmann doesn't see the bolts and joints of a doll, but only a beautiful young woman.