Offenbach’s La Péricole

The composer Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) is best known today for his one serious opera, Tales of Hoffmann, which he composed shortly before his death, based on the life and writings of the German author and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann.

But actually Tales of Hoffmann was only one of 102 works for the musical stage that Offenbach wrote during his career. The rest were mostly light satirical operettas, known as Offenbachiades, which were hugely successful in Paris in the 1850s, 60s and 70s.

I have seen several of these Offenbachiades, including La Belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen) at the Châtelet in Paris and Orpheus in the Underworld in Rostock, but the one I know best is still La Péricole, which I saw several times when the Frankfurt Opera staged it in 1998.

So it was sort of like meeting up with an old friend when I saw La Péricole again ten years later at a small theater (95 seats) in the east of Paris which was then called Espace La Comedia. Of course they had no orchestra, just a piano, and only a tiny stage compared to Frankfurt or the Châtelet, but it was a fine performance by an enthusiastic young cast.

My photos above show the audience and cast of La Péricole at Espace La Comedia.

People leaving after the performance

(I have a CD of La Péricole which I am listening to as I write this.) 

Update: The former Espace La Comedia is now called L’Auguste Théâtre (named after the nearby métro station Philippe-Auguste).

The address is 6 impasse Lamier, 75011 Paris.

Their website is https://augustetheatre.com/ and the nearest Vélib‘ bicycle station is 11021.

My photos in this post are from 2008.
I revised the text in 2017.

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