Jacques Offenbach was sometimes dubbed ‘the Mozart of the Champs-Elysées’. His operetta Ba-ta-clan was his first major hit and is often considered his most successful one-acter. It is without any doubt one of his most comical compositions. This so-called chinoiserie musicale is set in the country of ‘Che-i-noor’ (China) which is ruled by three Chinese who turn out to be Parisians in disguise. In this operetta, Offenbach pokes fun at the political intrigues of his time.
At the same time, it is a musical parody of the prevailing opera conventions infused with a dose of French chauvinism. Its catchy tunes caught on with all layers of French society and could be heard in virtually all Parisian dance halls and ballrooms. In the following decades, Ba-ta-clan was performed several times in Paris, London and New York.
music Jacques Offenbach libretto Ludovic Halévy choir Brussels Operetta Theater orchestra Chamber orchestra Nuove Musiche conductor Eric Lederhandler director Lieven Baert