“You really feel like you are dying by the end of the act. You feel this ecstasy while singing. You are dying, exhausted and excited.” - Anna Netrebko soprano (on singing the role of Antonia)
One narrator. Drunk. The story of the women in his life. The complications of his current love and his current rival. And an evil shadow that follows him everywhere.
Offenbach was dubbed “the Mozart of the Champs Élysées” by Rossini. His lyrical, effervescent final opera, left unfinished at his death, with its plot of strange, outrageous loves, an ever-present evil genius, not to mention the famous Barcarolle (borrowed from an earlier work) and an aria for a wind-up mechanical doll, is a treasure-trove for an imaginative director.
“I warn others solemnly that Offenbach’s music is wicked. It is abandoned stuff: every accent in it is a snap of the fingers in the face of moral responsibility: every ripple and sparkle on its surface twits me for my teetotalism, and mocks at the early rising of which I fully intend to make a habit some day”.
George Bernard Shaw
Sung in French with English surtitles.