Bon anniversaire Jacques Offenbach!
'Jacques forever' was the title of BR-Klassik's Operettenboulevard on June 23rd. The 7th Palazzetto Bru Zane Festival in Paris has just come to an close; the focus was on light music and Offenbach's work on the occasion of his 200th anniversary. On June 1st, the almost unknown Offenbach jewel "Maître Péronilla" opened the Festival at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with no less than 16 soloists. June 30th marked the end of the Festival with the last performance of his "Madame Favart" at the Opéra Comique. These were true discoveries, as only a few of Offenbach's 140 stage works are still performed regularly today. In addition to the great operettas, Hervé's "Mam'zelle Nitouche", the one-act "Faust et Marguerite" by Frédéric Barbier and "Sauvons la caisse" by Charles Lecoq at the Théâtre Marigny - where Offenbach's 'Bouffes-Parisiens' once stood - also provided the audience with plenty of entertainment.
The comic productions also met with acclaim from the press. Deutschlandfunk remarked on "Maître Péronilla": "It is commendable that this entertainingly intelligent 'opéra bouffe' has been unearthed by Palazzetto Bru Zane and, on an outstanding musical niveau, has been performed concertante for the first time and will be released on CD. [...] Not only Offenbach lovers will relish this rarity." And the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Sunday concluded: "On June 1st, one couldn't help but marvel at the performance of Offenbach's 'Maître Péronilla' at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris: a musical fireworks display - so brilliantly executed that the listeners were swept off their feet." Brugs' classic 'Madame Favart' pays tribute to musical interpretation: "... the sparkling champagne-like gestures of conductor Laurent Campellone, who directs the sonorously-plump Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. Here is an acutely rhythmic, entirely light-weight crackling Offenbach sound, also melodically upbeat, joyfully marching, eagerly galloping and blissfully waltzing."
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