La Vie Parisienne, 2007
Poster for La Vie Parisienne (2007)


The success of Offenbach's operettas can hardly be put down to a coherent plot! Often, as in this case, they are merely loosely constructed vehicles to give a context for the witty melodies which are spun out one after the other.

In La Vie Parisienne, two young Parisians, Roaul de Gardefeu and Bobinet, are in love with Metella, a beautiful young woman aspiring to high society. Metella rejects them both in favour of a richer and older man. The two rejected young men feel shunned and plot a scam hoping that aristocratic ladies might provide more attractive opportunities.

Meanwhile, several rich tourists have arrived in Paris including the Baron and Baroness of Gondremarck, Brazil, a millionaire bent on spending his money as quickly as possible and a lowly glove-maker called Gabrielle, who catches Brazil's eye. Raoul, disguised as a guide, invites the Baron and Baroness to stay with him, pretending his house is the Grande Hotel.

Metella appears at Raoul's house, hoping to make up with him and put their differences aside. When Raoul tells her that another woman is occupying the guest room in which she had stayed, Metella leaves, feeling upset and bewildered. In the meantime the Baron has met Metella and fallen in love with her. To entertain and distract the Baron, Raoul arranges a huge party which takes place at the home of Bobinet's wealthy aunt whose housekeeper, Pauline, masquerades as Bobinet's wife and totally fascinates the Baron

Raoul invites Metella, Brazil and Gabrielle and calls upon all his friends to pretend to be aristocrats. The party is a romp of mayhem and humour, ending the show on the high it so deserves.

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