Périchole, La
  • Jacques Offenbach. Opéra bouffe in two acts. 1868.
  • Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, after the comedy Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement (The Carriage of the Holy Sacrament) by Prosper Mérimée.
  • First performance at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris, on 6th October 1868.

La Périchole and her companion Piquillo are street-singers in Lima, where the Viceroy is attracted to her and offers her a position as lady-in-waiting. Favourites of the Viceroy must be married and Piquillo volunteers his services as a husband to any of them, too drunk to notice that he is marrying an equally intoxicated La Périchole. After Piquillo has suffered imprisonment as an unwilling husband, the Viceroy eventually frees them.

Among Offenbach’s most successful and charming works, La Périchole includes delightful music in an effective comic opera. Lord Berners took the same work for his comic opera of 1920, Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement.