La PéricholeLove, lust, and power collide in Offenbach’s madcap comic opera
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1890)
Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
Author: Jacques Offenbach
Musical Preparation: Caspar Richter
Conductor: Caspar Richter, Pavel Šnajdr
Director: Tomáš Studený
Set Design: Eva Jiřikovská
Costume Design: Kateřina Kerndlová
Chorus Master: Josef Pančík
Choreographer: Hana Košíková
Dramaturgist: Jakub Kruliš
Assistant Conductor: Ema Mikešková
Assistant Stage Director: Kristýna Kopřivová, Otakar Blaha
|Don Andrès de Ribeira||Jevhen Šokalo, Jan Šťáva|
|Don Miguel de Panatellas||Zoltán Korda, Petr Levíček|
|Don Pedro de Hinoyosa||Petr Císař, Jiří Brückler|
|Piquillo||Ondřej Koplík, Josef Moravec, Ondrej Šaling|
|First Notary||Ivo Musil, Milan Řihák|
|Second Notary||Martin Pavlíček, Tomáš Krejčiřík|
|La Périchole||Jana Wallingerová, Veronika Hajnová Fialová|
|Guadalena||Jana Tajovská Krajčovičová, Tereza Merklová Kyzlinková|
|Berginella||Lucie Kašpárková, Andrea Široká|
|Mastrilla||Adriana Hlavsová, Václava Krejčí|
|Manuelita||Martina Králíková, Alena Nevimová|
|Frasquinella||Alena Sobolová, Jana Jelínková|
|Brambilla||Jitka Zerhauová, Aneta Petrasová|
|Ninetta||Hana Kopřivová, Radka Hudečková|
|The Old Prisoner||Jaroslav Kuneš, Jiří Pištěk|
The libretto by Jakub Kruliš, in collaboration with Tomáš Studený, is loosely inspired by the motifs of H. Meilhac a L. Halévy.
Janáček Opera Ensemble and Orchestra of the National Theatre Brno
Premiere 6th January 2012, Janáček Theatre
Love, lust, and power collide in Offenbach’s madcap comic opera
Jacques Offenbach wrote the operetta La Périchole during a time when he was at the peak of his creative power and it is rightly placed among his most successful works. Offenbach’s score boasts an abundance of fine melodies and inventive harmonies, spiced with Spanish dance rhythms and set exotic Latin America. The stage action has much light and shade, from lively merrymaking to the most sensitive declaration of love. La Périchole’s title character is based on the life of one of the 18th century’s most famous Peruvians, Micaela Villegas, a wildly popular entertainer who was a mistress to the head of state. She is the heroine of many literary works including the one-act play Le carrosse du Saint-Sacrement by Prosper Mérimée, known in the Czech Republic from the superb television production starring Jan Werich and Jaroslava Adamová. The operetta’s lyrical satire strikes a sentimental and light-hearted tone, creating a love story with delightful characterisations and comic dilemmas.
The music is under the direction of Caspar Richter, the internationally regarded Offenbach expert and the author of several critical publications of Offenbach’s operettas with the renowned publisher Boosey and Hawkes. Thanks to Richter, the Brno staging of La Périchole will have a new lavish and spectacular finale. Originally from another Offenbach operetta, The Bridge of Sighs, it replaces the existing dull ending of the operetta.
Tomáš Studený, in charge of directing the operetta, already showed his sense of humour in an original production of Haydn’s comic opera Lo speziale (The Apothecary) at the Reduta Theatre. This new production of La Périchole, which appears for the first time in the repertoire of the National Theatre Brno, attempts to move the operetta genre closer to the world of the contemporary audience. The new libretto for this production, in particular with the portrayal of the main characters, focuses more on the comical aspects than the original version. The clichés often associated with operetta productions are purposely avoided enabling the refreshing humour, wit and entertainment to come into the limelight.
The Brno production of La Périchole will be a unique theatrical event thanks to the audience who will choose the ending of the operetta. During the interval, the audience will be able to vote, at their own discretion, as to which of the heroine’s admirers she will end up with. Will it be the vivacious singer, Piquillo or the powerful viceroy Don Andrès? It’s up to you, the audience, to decide...