Adapted from Jacques Offenbach’s La Périchole
The hungriest bird sings the sweetest song.
New Orleans in the 1920s is roaring with decadence, but singers and lovers Songbird and Piquillo are down on hard times. As Mardi Gras arrives, the Mayor disguises himself and lures Songbird to be his mistress with the promise of food and lodging. Now Songbird must choose between financial security and true love. What’s a hungry artist to do?
Jazz meets operetta in this playful new riff on Jacques Offenbach’s La Périchole. Offenbach’s comedic love story is transported to the glimmer and corruption of New Orleans during Prohibition, while his melodies are reimagined in the swinging style of the Jazz Age. Grammy Award®–winning superstar mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard portrays a struggling artist torn between her livelihood and her love; while Tony®-nominated leading man Ramin Karimloo stars as her fellow singer and lover. With toe-tapping music, glamorous costumes, mistaken identities, and comic twists, Songbird infuses Frenchman Street flair into the classic “opéra bouffe” while keeping all of its irresistible charm.
Adaptation created by Eric Sean Fogel, James Lowe, and Kelley Rourke
Musical arrangement and orchestration by James Lowe
English lyrics and book by Kelley Rourke
Based on La Périchole by Jacques Offenbach, Henri Meilhac, and Ludovic Halévy
In French and English with Projected English Titles
Commissioned by The Glimmerglass Festival, 2021