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Beggar Student, The Drama View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Naples, 1840. A rascally Colonel in the Austrian Army of Occupation plans revenge on a girl who has rebuffed him - Laura, one of the two daughters of an impoverished Italian Countess. He releases two young prisoners on condition they masquerade as a wealthy Prince and his secretary. The ‘Prince’ has to win Laura’s hand, and then humiliate her. How the young men fall in love with the two girls and completely turn the tables on the Colonel is splendidly told in this tuneful operetta.

Belle Helene, La (Dunn) Comedy/Satire View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

The second - and equally famous - of Offenbach’s highly diverting satires on a well-known legend. The action takes place (without any regard for credibility) in unspecified ancient times in a unlikely ancient Greece, and concerns the abduction of the fair Helen by the Prince of Troy - aided and abetted by a wily oracle-worker, who outwits Helen’s much deceived husband and an assortment of royal Grecian heroes. The score includes some of Offenbach’s best-loved melodies.

Belle Hélène, La (Park/Hanmer) Comedy/Satire View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

The second - and equally famous - of Offenbach’s highly diverting satires on a well-known legend. The action takes place (without any regard for credibility) in unspecified ancient times in a unlikely ancient Greece, and concerns the abduction of the fair Helen by the Prince of Troy - aided and abetted by a wily oracle-worker, who outwits Helen’s much deceived husband and an assortment of royal Grecian heroes. The score includes some of Offenbach’s best-loved melodies.

Bird Seller, The Romance View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Set in the colourful milieu of Bavaria, this is a story of two young lovers - Trudie, the village postmistress, and Adam, a handsome bird seller from the Tyrol - who, at cross-purposes, become embroiled in romantic complications at the Court of the reigning Prince. The highly entertaining intrigues and misunderstandings - involving quite a number of distinctive characters - are eventually sorted out to the accompaniment of some of Zeller’s brightest and most liltingly-tuneful music.

Christopher Columbus Fantasy/Adventure View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Weaving together music from lesser-known Offenbach operettas and much of the music he had intended for a work for America, this opera tells the story of polygamist Columbus, who accidentally becomes involved in an expedition to America, funded by the loaned jewels of Queen Isabella of Spain. Accompanied by his three ex-wives, Columbus proves to be susceptible to sea-sickness, and is eventually cast adrift. On arrival in the New World, however, the crew discover that Columbus has already arrived, married an Indian Princess, and discovered the cola nut.

Countess Maritza Comedy/Satire; Drama View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

1920, Countess Mariza’s estate near the Hungarian border. Manja, the gypsy girl, tries unsuccessfully to capture the attention of Béla Törek, the newly hired bailiff on Mariza’s estate. Törek, in reality, is Count Tassilo, who, because of his late father’s debts, has been forced to sell all his properties and take this job incognito in order to provide a dowry for his sister Lisa. Mariza is a wealthy widow who has become exhausted by the constant courting of men who are after her money. In order to escape this situation, she announces an engagement with a fictitious man. Unfortunately, the name, that she has created for her new fiancé, Baron Koloman Zsupán, actually belongs to a rich pig farmer from Varasdin. Zsupán pursues Mariza, but she has actually fallen for the bailiff...

Die Fledermaus (adapted Park/Hanmer) Comedy/Satire View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Composed non-stop in forty-two ‘nights of veritable rapture’ this is the younger Strauss’s most celebrated and popular operetta - intoxicatingly melodious and exuberant. Mistaken identities, flirtations at a masked ball, elegant frivolities and confusions of all kinds provide a hilarious vehicle for some of the most captivating music ever written. A blissful show - especially rewarding for societies with high singing standards. The Overture is one of the most popular ever written, with five of the best tunes woven into a framework of the great ‘Fledermaus Waltz’.

Firebrand of Florence, The Comedy/Satire; Fantasy/Adventure View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Benvenuto Cellini, the great Florentine artist, is sentenced to hang, but he is pardoned when the duke realises that he has not completed a previously commissioned sculpture. Freed, Cellini is able to turn his attention to his favourite model (and object of his affections), Angela. The Duke also is interested in Angela. In a typical operetta plot, Cellini swashbuckles around the stage, keeping the Duke away from Angela, keeping himself away from the Duchess, and escaping yet another death sentence by fleeing to Paris, as the end of the show recapitulates the beginning.

Originally seen on Broadway in 1945, this effervescent comedy - an American equivalent to the opera comique of Offenbach - was brilliantly revived for the BBC’s Kurt Weill Weekend at the Barbican, where Rodney Gilfry starred in the title role in a concert performance with Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (a performance recorded by Capriccio). The show offers a standout lead role for a baritone and a score featuring songs like ‘Life, Love, and Laughter’, ‘You’re Far Too Near Me’ and ‘Sing Me Not a Ballad’. A critical edition is available.

Gipsy Baron, The Comedy/Satire View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Set in Hungary in the 18th Century, this is the colourful story of the marriage of a landowner (returned from exile) and a gypsy girl who is revealed as the daughter of a Turkish Pasha, and the rightful owner of hidden treasure. It involves a fortune-telling Romany Queen, an absurdly self-important Mayor, a rascally Commissioner, a Military Governor, a band of gypsies and a troop of Hussars.

Grand Duchess, The Comedy/Satire View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

One of a series of great Offenbach operettas, this is the hilarious tale of a sultry grande Dame who rules the tiny Duchy of Gerolstein. Having a keen eye for attractive young men, she promotes a certain Private Fritz to the rank of General in no time at all. But Fritz has a fiancée, and ideas of his own - and in the end the Grand Duchess has to settle for the absurdly foppish, but politically expedient, Prince Paul.

Colourful and amusing characters, lots of comedy, and irresistible music.

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