The great storyteller Hoffmann is losing himself to drink. His rival in love, Councillor Lindorf, claims that Hoffmann knows nothing of the heart, and so goads Hoffmann into telling the tales of his three great loves – each destroyed by a villain who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lindorf… First Hoffmann tells of his infatuation for the mechanical doll, Olympia – who is destroyed by the inventor Coppélius. Next comes the courtesan Giulietta, who throws over his adoration in favour of jewels from the magician Dappertutto. Finally, the gentle Antonia is forced to sing to her death by the wicked Doctor Miracle. His stories finished, Hoffmann rouses from his drunken stupor to find Lindorf has made off with Stella, Hoffmann’s latest love – but the Muse compels him to transform his heartache into art.