At the end of his life Offenbach composed his opera 'Les contes d´Hoffman', but unfortunately he was not able to finish it. The plot tells the story of the poet Hoffmann telling three of his amorous adventures, every time ending with a refusal of his proposing. The aria 'Il ètait une fois à la cour d'Eisenach' is sung in the prologue of the Opera. The scene is Luther's tavern in Nurnberg where students are waiting for Hoffmann. He finally arrives and entertains them with the legend of Kleinzach, a dwarf whose incredible ugliness he begins describing. Midway through, though, he goes off on the beauty of a woman he used to know.