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Friday, December 1, 2017

Cutting Hall,
Palatine IL
7:00pm

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Altergott Auditorium at Palatine High School,
Palatine IL
3:30pm

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Cutting Hall,
Palatine IL
3:30pm

program notes > L > La Belle Hélène Overture

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La Belle Hélène Overture

Jacques Offenbach/arr. Lawrence Odom

 

La Belle Hélène (The Fair Helen) is the overture to a satirical operetta written as a spoof on the Greek myth of Helen of Troy. The operetta can also be construed as a satire on the age of Napoléon III. The first performance, in Paris in 1864, was an instant success. Premieres followed soon after in Vienna, Berlin, London and Chicago (1867).

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), born in Cologne, Germany, was a composer and cellist of the Romantic era and one of the originators of the operetta form. He was much attached to France, his adopted country, and many of his works are very patriotic in nature. His numerous operettas that combined political and cultural satire with witty grand opera parodies were extremely popular in the 1850s and 1860. He was forced to flee France after that country fell to Germany, but his popularity later rebounded. The great chef Auguste Escoffier is said to have created the fruit dessert "Pear Hélène” in honor of Offenbach and his work. 

Last updated on July 18, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band