Les Bouffes de Bru Zane

Offenbach & Hervé

Operetta Light Music
It might be hard to believe that one-act operas and operettas represent almost two-thirds of the repertory of French musical theatre in the Romantic period, so rarely are they performed nowadays. These pieces, intended for the use of small theatres with often limited financial resources, were subject to the proscriptions of a law of 1807: no more than two or three characters on stage, no chorus, no ballet . . . But Hervé and Offenbach – past masters in the art of getting round prohibitive regulations – managed to make the most of these limitations by getting the audience to imagine what they could not show. Two tenors on stage, accompanied by no more than a piano, play by turns the roles of Fignolet – the ‘Crazy Composer’ in person – and his servant Séraphin, then the beggars Patachon, ‘Blind from birth’, and Giraffier, ‘Blinded by accident’, who quarrel over the best position on a bridge . . . This incredibly amusing and inventive repertory never fails to involve its spectators, so that auditorium and stage combine to celebrate in unison the ‘esprit de Paris’, halfway between bawdy comedy and surrealistic situations.


Sun 4 August 2019
Marché couvert, Pont-l'Évêque
Sat 29 February 2020
Salle Pasteur / Le Corum, Montpellier
Sun 1 March 2020
Salle Pasteur / Le Corum, Montpellier


Giraffier / Séraphin Flannan Obé
Patachon / Fignolet Raphaël Brémard
Christophe Manien piano
Lola Kirchner directions, scenes and costumes
Cyril Monteil light design


Jacques Offenbach
Les Deux Aveugles
Le Compositeur toqué
Performance in French

In collaboration with Les Promenades Musicales du Pays d’Auge
In collaboration with the Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier
Bru Zane Mediabase
Digital resources for French Romantic music
The website hosts articles on people, works and topics authored by musicologists and historians collaborating with Palazzetto Bru Zane.