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Offenbach
La Perichole
Operetta in 3 Acts. (Revised version of 1874)
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy.
English Version by Ian Gledhill.

SYNOPSIS
The street singers Perichole and Piquillo are too poor to get married. One day Perichole is spotted by the Viceroy, Don Andres, who is attracted to her and plans to install her in the palace. She is reluctant at first, but when he promises her dinner she agrees as she is near to starvation, and she writes a farewell letter to Piquillo. When he reads it he attempts suicide, but is stopped by Don Pedro, who has been instructed to find a husband for the Viceroy’s new favourite, since only married women are allowed in the palace. Piquillo is plied with alcohol until he agrees. After dining Perichole turns awkward until she sees who her husband is to be, whereupon she readily consents to the marriage. Piquillo, however, is now too drunk to recognise his bride. He wakes up next day in the palace, to find he has married the Viceroy’s new mistress. When he discovers this is Perichole he makes a dreadful fuss and in a jealous rage hurls her at Don Andres’s feet. He is immediately arrested and thrown into the prison for recalcitrant husbands. There he is visited by Perichole who explains her true feelings. She helps him escape with the aid of an old prisoner. They go the Viceroy and throw themselves on his mercy. Perichole and Piquillo are pardoned, but unfortunately the old prisoner has committed no crime for which he can be pardoned, so he is taken back to his cell. But Perichole and Piquillo, at least, will live happily ever after.


2 flutes, 1 oboe, 2 clarinets, 1 bassoon,
2 horns, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone,
percussion,

strings.

Orchestration


A square in Lima, Peru
The Throne Room in the Viceroy’s palace
The dungeon for recalcitrant husbands
The square, as in Act One

Act One:
Act Two:
Act Three, scene 1:

Act Three, scene 2:

Settings

Townspeople, courtiers, soldiers, Indians, etc. (SATTB) 45%

Chorus

Manuelita (soprano)
Frasquinella (soprano)
Brambilla (mezzo)
Ninetta (mezzo)

1st Notary (tenor/baritone)
2nd Notary (baritone)
Tarapote (spoken)
Old Prisoner (spoken)

Lesser Roles

La Perichole (mezzo-soprano)
Guadalena (soprano)
Berginella (soprano)
Mastrilla (mezzo-soprano)

Piquillo (tenor)
Don Andres (baritone)
Count Panatellas (tenor)
Don Pedro (baritone)

Major Roles