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The Bandits

Jacques Offenbach 1819-1880

Opéra-bouffe in 3 acts
Libretto by Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy
First performed December 10 1869, Théâtre des Variétés, Paris

Sung in German with German & English surtitles
Introductory talks (in German) in the Holzfoyer 30 minutes before performances begin

Conductor Karsten Januschke

Falsacappa, Chief Bandit Gerard Schneider / Yves Saelens
Pietro, his Deputy Michael McCown
Carmagnola, Bandit Theo Lebow
Domino, BanditTianji Lin
Barbavano, Bandit Magnús Baldvinsson
Fiorella, Falsacappa's Daughter Ambur Braid
Fragoletto, a Farmer Kelsey Lauritano
Pipo, Landlord Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Pipa, his Wife / The Marquise Barbara Zechmeister
Pipetta, his Daughter / Duchess Ekin Su Paker°
Baron  Campotasso Matthew Swensen
Count of Gloria-Cassis Yves Saelens / Brian Michael Moore
Princess of Granada Juanita Lascarro
Adolphe of Valladolid, her Page Carlos Andrés Cárdenas°
Duke of Mantua Sebastian Geyer

°Member of Opera Studio

Chief robber Falsacappa has problems keeping his men happy. They haven’t made a good haul for ages. What should he do?

There wasn’t much worth taking when they raided the young farmer Fragoletto’s home, but it gave Fragoletto and Falsacappa’s daughter Fiorella the chance to fall in love. Now he wants to join the robbers, but has to prove himself first: he intercepts a courier; secret documents found on him divulge that the Princess of Granada is on her way to marry the Duke of Mantua. She will be given three million when she arrives, money owed to Spain. Falsacappa’s plan is ready: he intends to go with his robbers, suitably disguised, to meet the delegation from Granada, pass his daughter off as the Princess and get his hands on the money. The action then moves to an inn »on the boarder between Spain and Italy«, where the bandits turn up disguised as pilgrims, then cooks, replacing the kidnapped innkeepers, to welcome the Spanish. The carabinieri, who always arrive too late, march through the work like a leit motiv in their heavy boots. In some of the themes, which Offenbach tackles with caustic satire, astonishing parallels are drawn to events in 1869, the year the work was first performed: how national debt is dealt with, for example …