Offenbach's Witty Satire

Delightful and lively, this packs a lot of heart.

Composer: Offenbach
Repertoire: The Financier and the Cobbler
Artists: Ghyslaine Raphanel (sop), Eric Huchet (tenor), et al., Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup/Keck
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Vocal
Label: Association des Concerts Pasdeloup 442 8964

The Financier and the Cobbler is an opérette-bouffe, one of the many one-acters that Offenbach staged at the Bouffes-Parisiens before scoring a bull’s-eye with Orpheus in the Underworld. The story isn’t much - financier loses daughter and all his wealth to despised cobbler in a card game – but it gave the librettists the chance to satirise the pretensions of the nouveaux riches. The music is delightful: witty, but with a heart as well. The singers despatch it with élan, and they are equally lively in the spoken dialogue.