Stress busting therapy – an Offenbach double bill from Opera della Luna
Depressing weather, difficult times. We need something silly to cheer us up. Enter Opera della Luna with ‘two outrageous operas in one crazy evening’.
Artistic Director Jeff Clarke, with a long track record of the entertaining remodelling of operas and operettas, has produced new English versions of two one-act Offenbach comedies. And they don’t come much sillier than this.
Croquefer has imprisoned the daughter of his arch-rival Mousse-a-Mort, with whom he has been at war for 23 years. Despite having lost most of his body parts, including his tongue, at the Crusades, Mousse-a-Mort is determined to fight one last battle to save his daughter. Their bloody final fight-to-the-death is only prevented by the deft interference of Croquefer’s housekeeper, who puts a laxative in the water, providing everyone with a very effective distraction.
On the island of Tulipatan King Cacatois XXII is unaware that his only son and heir, Alexis, is in fact biologically his daughter. Knowing how desperate he was for a son, the doctors concealed the child’s true sex from the king, who has now grown increasingly despairing of his son’s gentle disposition. Coincidentally, in order to avoid her child being conscripted into the army, the wife of the King’s Field Marshall has also lied to her husband about their daughter, who is in fact, a boy. How extraordinary it would be if these two bizarrely brought-up children were to meet and somehow fall in love...
Expect satire, parodies and puns.
The new Opera della Luna versions of Offenbach’s Croquefer, and L’ile de Tulipatan in a double bill open at the Roxburgh Theatre, Stowe on July 23 (two performances) and in London at Wilton's Music Hall on August 18 (two performances).