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Offenbach – Orphée aux Enfers (Plasson) [2001]

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Offenbach – Orphée aux Enfers (Plasson) [2001]

Disc: 1
1. Ov - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
2. Act 1, No.1 Choeur Des Bergers Et Scene Du Conseil Municipal: 'Voici La Douzieme Heure...'
 - Hugues Brambilla/Jane Rhodes/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
3. Act 1, No.2 Couplets Du Berger Joli: La Femme Dont Le Coeur Reve' - Mady Mesple
4. Act 1, No.2 Dialogue: 'Que Vois-Je?' - Michel Senechal/Mady Mesple
5. Act 1, No.3 Duo Du Con: 'Ah! C'est Ainsi!' - Mady Mesple/Michel Senechal
6. Act 1, No.3 Dialogue: 'La Bonne Heure...' - Mady Mesple/Michel Senechal
7. Act 1, No.4 Ballet Pastoral - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
8. Act 1, No.5 Chanson D'Aristee: 'Moi, Je Suis Aristee...Voir Voltiger...: - Charles Burles
9. Act 1, No.5 Sortie Des Bergers/Dialogue: 'Voici La Tendre Eurydice!' - Charles Burles/Mady Mesple
10. Act 1, No.5 Melodrame/Dialogue: 'Aie!' - Mady Mesple/Charles Burles
11. Act 1, No.6 Invocation A La Mort: 'La Mort M'Apparait...' - Mady Mesple
12. Act 1, No.6 Dialogue/Melodrame/Dialogue: 'Ca Ya Yest!' - Charles Burles/Mady Mesple/Michel Senechal
13. Act 1, No.7 Final: 'Libre! O Bonheur!' 
- Michel Senechal/Jane Rhodes/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
14. Act 2, No.8 Entracte Et Choeur Du Sommeil - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
15. Act 2, No.9 Couplets: 'Je Suit Venus!' 
- Michele Command/Jane Berbie/Jean-Philippe Lafont/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
16. Act 2, No.10 Divertissement Des Songes Et Des Heures: 'Tzing, Tzing, Tzing...' 
- Chor Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Senechal
17. Act 2, No.11 Reveil Des Dieux Et Couplets De Diane/ Dialogue: Par Saturne!'/'Ce Qu'il Est Devenu... 
- Michel Trempont/Michele Command/Michele Pena/Daniele Castaing/Chor Du Capitole De Toulouse...

Disc: 2
1. Act 2, No.12 Rondo Saltarelle De Mercure: 'Eh Hop! Eh Hop!' - Andre Mallabrera/Danielle Castaing/Michel Trempont
2. Act 2, No.12 Dialogue: 'Salut Au Puissant Maitre Des Dieux...' - Andre Mallabrera/Michel Trempont/Danielle Castaing
3. Act 2, No.12 Entree De Pluton - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
4. Act 2, No.13 Air En Prose De Pluton: 'Comme Il Me Regarde!' - Charles Burles
5. Act 2, No.13 Dialogue: 'Laissons Cela!' - Michel Trempont/Charles Burles
6. Act 2, No.14 Choeur De La Revolte: 'Auz Armes, Dieux Et Demi-Dieux!' 
- Michele Pena/Michele Command/Jane Berbie/Charles Burles/Michel Trempont
7. Act 2, No.14 Dialogue: 'Silence, Ou Je Tonne...' 
- Michel Trempont/Charles Burles/Michele Pena/Daniele Castaing/Michele Command/Jane Berbie
8. Act 2, No.15 Rondeau Des Metamorphoses: 'Pour Seduire Alcmene...' 
- Michele Pena/Michele Command/Jane Berbie/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
9. Act 2, No.15 Dialogue: Seigneurs, Deux Etrangers Sont La...' - Andre Mallabrera/Michel Trempont/Charles Burles
10. Act 2, No.16 Grand Final/Scene/Ensemble/Choeur Et Marche: 'Il Approache! Il S'Avanche 
- Charles Burles/Michel Senechal/Michel Trempont/Andre Mallabrera/Jane Berbie/Michele Pena
11. Act 2, No.17 Entracte - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
12. Act 3, No.18 Couplets Des Regrets: 'Ah! Quelle Triste Destinee...' - Mady Mesple
13. Act 3, No.18 Dialogue: 'Voila 2 Jours Que Je Suis Seule...' - Mady Mesple/Bruce Brewer
14. Act 3, No.19 Couplets Du Roi De Beotie: 'Quand J'Etais Eoi De Beotie...' - Bruce Brewer
15. Act 3, No.19 Dialogue/Melodrame: 'Voyez-Vous, Il Est Une Chose...' 
- Bruce Brewer/Mady Mesple/Charles Burles/Michel Trempont
16. Act 3, No.20 Septuor Du Tribunal: 'Minos Eaque Et Rhadamante...' 
- Jean-Claude Bonnafous/Roger Trentin/Henry Amiel/Charles Burles/Michel Trempont/Bruce Brewer...
17. Act 3, No.20 Dialogue/Melodrame: 'La Seance Est Ouverte!' 
- Jean-Claude Bonnafous/Henry Amiel/Roger Trentin/Charles Burles/Andre Valdeneige/Michel Trempont...
18. Act 3, No.21 Ronde Des Policemen: 'Nez Au Vent, Oeil Au Gent...' - Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
19. Act 3, No.22 Recit Et Couplets Des Baisers: 'Allons, Mes Fins Limiers, Visitez Et Fouillez! 
- Jane Berbie/Michel Trempont/Jacqueline Valliere/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
20. Act 3, No.22 Dialogue: 'La Porte Est La!' - Jacqueline Valliere/Michel Trempont/Jane Berbie
21. Act 3, No.23 Petite Ronde Du Bourdon: 'La Beau Boudon Que Voila...' 
- Jacqueline Valliere/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
22. Act 3, No.24 Duo De La Mouche: Il M' A Semble Sur Mon Epaule...' - Mady Mesple/Michel Trempont
23. Act 3, No.24 Dialogue: 'Ah, Je Savais Bien...' - Mady Mesple/Michel Trempont/Chalres Burles
24. Act 3, No.25 Scene Des Mouches: 'Si J'Etais Roi De Beotie...' - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
25. Act 3, No.25 Dialogue: 'La Mouche!...' - Charles Burles/Jane Berbie
26. Act 3, No.25 Galop - Orch Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
27. Act 4, No.26 Choeur Infernal: 'Vive Le Vin! Vive Pluton!' 
- Jane Berbie/Choeurs Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
28. Act 4, No.27 Hymne A Bacchus: 'J'ai Vu Le Dieu Bacchus...' - Mady Mesple/Michele Pena/Jane Berbie/Charles Burles
29. Act 4, No.28 Menuet Et Galop Infernal: Maintenant, Je Veux, Moi Qui Suis Mince Et Fluet...' 
- Michel Trempont/Michele Pena/Charles Burles/Mady Mesple/Jane Rhodes/Hugues Brambilla...
30. Act 4, No.28 Dialogue: 'Et Maintenant, Fuyons, Jupitor...' - Mady Mesple/Michel Trempont/Charles Burles/Jane Berbie
31. Act 4, No.29 Melodrame: 'Elle Est Assez Bonne!' 
- Michel Trempont/Charles Burles/Mady Mesple/Michel Senechal/Jane Rhodes/Hugues Brambilla...
32. Act 4, No.30 Final: 'Ne Regards Pas En Arriere!...' 
- Jane Rhodes/Michel Trempont/Michel Senechal/Charles Burles/Mady Mesple

Jane Rhodes (Soprano)
Jane Berbié (Mezzo Soprano)
Charles Burles (Tenor)
Henri Amiel (Baritone)
Michel Sénéchal (Tenor)
Michel Trempont (Baritone),
Hugues Brambilla (Tenor)
Michèle Command (Soprano)
Jean-Philippe Lafont (Baritone),
Mady Mesplé (Soprano)
Michele Pena (Soprano)
Daniele Castaing (Soprano),
André Mallabrera (Tenor)
Bruce Brewer (Tenor)
Roger Trentin (Tenor)
Jean-Claude Bonnafous (Tenor)

Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Toulouse Capitole Chorus
Michel Plasson – conductor

 

Offenbach's theater license, granted in 1855, limited his stage works to one act and three performers. Three years later, authorities lifted these restrictions, enabling Offenbach to forge his most enduring creations, the first of which was Orphée aux enfers. It is one of numerous of Offenbach's works that are satires of familiar tales.

Ludovic Halévy (1799-1862) drafted a libretto on the Orpheus legend early in 1858, but its size placed it outside the limits set up by Offenbach's license. When the restrictions were lifted, Offenbach prompted Halévy and Hector Crémieux (1828-1892) to complete the libretto. Orphée aux enfers was Offenbach's first two-act work and would become the archetypical French operetta. Orphée and Euridyce were the first operetta hero and heroine and the chorus became in integral part of the action and music. The reception of the first performance on October 21, 1858, at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, was mediocre, although a few critics were genuinely impressed with the new work. Dissatisfied, Offenbach began to make cuts to the score, but this failed to bring people to the theater in great numbers. Vital publicity came about in early 1859 when a critic, Jules Janin, wrote desparagingly of Orphée aux enfers, calling it a "profanation of holy and glorious antiquity." Offenbach, in a public reply, noted that one of Pluto's numbers was derived from Janin's writings, a revelation that piqued the interest of the Parisian public and made the show a hit. After 228 performances Orphée aux enfers was withdrawn, not due to lack of ticket sales, but merely to give the performers a rest. The piece returned to the stage a few weeks later. For the Vienna production of 1860 Carl Binder provided an overture, which has become the standard, and famous, overture.

Halévy and Crémieux and Offenbach's thinly veiled caricatures of contemporary political and cultural figures and ideals fueled the success of Orphée aux enfers. The lustful Jupiter was easily interpreted as the womanizing Emperor Napoleon III; Orphée as a restless, bored bourgeois; and Eurydice's song to Bacchus and the wild cancans parallel the middle and upper classes' hedonistic predilections. Of course, Offenbach's music was ultimately responsible of the poplarity of Orphée. The composer parodies contemporary sentimental ballads in Orphée's violin solo and borrows Gluck's "Che farò" (from Orfeo ed Euridice) and the Marseillaise. Amusing incongruities, such as having the gods dance a cancan, pepper the score. Offenbach parodies elements of grand opera in the silly, bawdy duo de la Mouche (Fly duet) in Act Two. The finales are the high points of the operetta and feature increasing speed and intensity that lead to a climax. For example, the first act begins very quietly with Orphée and Eurydice alone, but ends in a very fast tempo with all the gods performing a galop and leaving the stage. ---John Palmer, Rovi

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