$10 | Buy Tickets Now
$10 adults / $5 students
*Free for CSU students, faculty & staff with Laker Card. Tickets required.
Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller, director
Clayton State University’s Music Drama Workshop presents Jacques Offenbach’s 1868 hit operetta, La Périchole, in Donald Pippin’s English translation, on Friday and Saturday, 23 and 24 March, in Spivey Hall. The Clayton State Chorale will serve as the chorus. The production will be staged by Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller, conducted by Dr. Michael Fuchs, and feature the design work of Professor Derrick Vanmeter. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students, and free for Clayton State University community members with valid Laker ID cards.
La Périchole tells the story of Périchole and Piquillo, two street singers who are so poor they can’t even raise the fee to pay for their marriage license. When the lecherous Viceroy decides that Périchole is exactly what he wants for his next “First Lady of the Bedchamber,” he enlists his sycophantic courtiers to make sure he gets what he wants, whether Périchole and Piquillo are willing to play along or not. Before long, Piquillo finds himself a guest in the dungeon reserved for recalcitrant husbands, Périchole masterminds a daring jailbreak, and the two singers make a run for it. Will they escape the vindictive Viceroy and his minions?
All of Offenbach’s operettas comically satirize the society in which they were written, a time when the enormous industrial expansion of the Second Empire benefitted mostly a privileged elite rather than decreasing economic inequality, a time when powerful men took advantage of disempowered women, and a time when democratic processes were subverted to place autocratic powers in the hands of a charismatic serial philanderer with illusions of grandeur. As the French say, Plus ça change…
La Périchole played a particularly important role in the birth of English-language operetta and the musical comedy descended from it. In March of 1875, an English-language translation of La Périchole was the headline feature of a show presented at London’s Royalty Theatre; however, the producer, Richard D’Oyly Carte, also had commissioned a short companion work specifically for this production from a new collaborative team of English writers. Drawn by the Offenbach hit, the audiences that flocked to the Royalty were immediately smitten with Trial by Jury by the new team of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and the operetta form quickly became established in English-speaking theatres.
La Périchole is not suitable for children under 13.
Presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts/Division of Music