Since he made his literature debut in Charles Perrault’s Mother Goose Tales, Bluebeard took many, many forms, from Béla Bartók’s tragic and bloodthirsty hero to the star of this opéra bouffe, the most entertaining show of the season. The Parisian society of the time of Napoleon III – nicknamed Napoleon the Small by Victor Hugo – loves fun, and making fun of itself. Up to a point. Offenbach’s talent, invention, dishevelling wit does not fail to take into account the nature of those who celebrate him; yet he knows “up to how far he can go”, as Cocteau said, in satire as well as innovation. Laurent Pelly and his team know their Offenbach by heart and free him from the proper conventions that stifled him, milking him to the core of his hidden ferocity. And they’re not afraid of going too far either.
Opéra-bouffe in 3 acts and 4 scenes
Libretto by Henry Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
First performed in Paris in 1866
Production the Opéra de Lyon in 2019
Coproduction: Opéra de Marseille
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