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Offenbach (pastiche)
Tactical Exercises

Operetta in 1 Act. Music taken from The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein.
Written by George Hauger.
Versions with or without chorus.

SYNOPSIS
The young and dashing Lieutenant Jacques Couteau, newly appointed to the regiment, has caught the attention of Amandine, the colonel’s wife. She pays a surprise visit to his apartment, and soon makes it clear that her visit isn’t purely social. At first Jacques resists her advances for fear that the Colonel should find out, but she reassures him that the Colonel is away on a tactical exercise. Just as they are about to embrace, the Colonel himself is heard outside. Amandine hides in an adjoining room as the Colonel enters. He has come to invite the young Lieutenant out for a night on the town in search of pretty girls, and cannot understand why Jacques should be reluctant to go. When Jacques inadvertently mumbles something about the Colonel’s wife, the Colonel replies that she doesn’t suspect a thing as he has told her he is off on a tactical exercise, and makes it clear that this is a regular occurrence. He is about to bundle the young man out of the door when Amandine makes her entrance, having overheard everything, and accuses her husband of unfaithfulness. He claims that he was only testing the young Lieutenant’s moral character by trying to tempt him, and to make sure Jacques backs him up promotes him to Captain. It then occurs to the Colonel to wonder how his wife comes to be in Jacques’ apartment, but she manages to persuade him she and Jacques are government agents on a secret mission, which in the interests of security she forbids Jacques to confirm or deny. The Colonel, still feeling a little guilty, perhaps, about his own deception, is ready to believe this story, and all three, now confident that their real involvement in the affair will remain a secret, join in a trio on the merits of never telling the whole truth.

[In the version with chorus, the action is interrupted at intervals by the chorus entering and performing choruses from assorted operas, namely
The Flying Dutchman, Il Trovatore, Faust and Carmen. The chorus (disguised as different choruses) are apparently responding to a misprinted advertisement in the newspaper.]











Details available on request.

Orchestration

A room in Jacques’ flat, Paris, the 1870s.

Setting

Four different choruses in search of an engagement. SATB 25% ]

[Chorus

Lieutenant Jacques Couteau (tenor)
Amandine (soprano)
Colonel Jules Cesar (baritone)

Roles