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An Orchestral Concert

Synopsis

We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
THE B.B.C. ORCHESTRA
(Section E)
(Led by LAURANCE TURNER )
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS.
ONE morning in 1864, Offenbach and his two new librettists, Meilhac and Halevy, called on the celebrated Mademoiselle Hortense Schneider, and offered her the title rôle in a new operetta they had just completed. La Belle Hélène proved to be one of the biggest of all Offenbach's successes, and for the next twelve years these three were in constant and triumphant association.
Meilhac and Halevy were famous collaborators.
They wrote the text of all the later successful operettas of Offenbach, as well as vaudeville and comic opera books for Bizet, Delibes, Lecocq, and most of the leading French composers, and as they were nearly always associated with successful productions, they were in great demand. Halevy was the nephew of the composer of The Jewess. It was he who, in their collaboration, gave theatrical form to the ideas which Meilhac brought him. while Meilliac at the finish peppered the whole with the wit and sparkle that fitted Offenbach's music so well.
Offenbach was quite aware of the importance of the opera book, and treated his collaborators with the utmost consideration. But while some music, if not deathless, is dateless, the text of a topical operetta dates more quickly than anything in the theatre. It is that which has kept us from hearing in these days a great many sparkling works which, musically, merit revival. The present production of Helen is a case in point. Good as it was in its day, Meilhac and Halevy's book would not have borne revival, and its success today has not a great deal to do with the original trio who shared all the honours in 1864. The new book has been practically rewritten by A. P. Herbert , the wittiest and most successful opera-book author of our day, and the music has been taken in hand, re-arranged, and in some places re-scored by the Austrian composer, Korngold.
But all the same, however much he may seem to sink out of the picture, it is Offenbach's triumph as much now as it was nearly seventy years ago.

Contributors

Unknown: Laurance Turner
Conducted By: Joseph Lewis.
Unknown: Mademoiselle Hortense
Written By: A. P. Herbert

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