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EMAV Review: SCO charms with their whimsical adaptation of “La Périchole” ★★★★☆

★★★★☆ - Delicious

Las Vegas’ own Sin City Opera is known for their colloquial interpretations of classical opera pieces which lend themselves to both aficionados and modern lay audiences alike, and their lively, beautifully sung presentation of Jacques Offenbach’s 1868 opéra bouffe “La Périchole” is no exception. Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy’s libretto is based on the 1829 one-act “Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement” by Prosper Mérimée, with the titular character based on real-life eighteenth century Peruvian actress Micaela Villegas who was mistress to Manuel de Amat y Junyent, Viceroy of Spanish Peru from 1761-1776.

Director Skip Galla painstakingly translated the book and lyrics from French to English, and Music Director and Conductor Dean Balan (with Christin Nance) worked out the arrangements. Retaining the French and Spanish flavor of the piece, Galla cleverly updated the comedy to match today’s sensibilities by keeping a farcical flair without the archaic political satire. Plus, some things never go out of style. Just about everyone loves a good party, and there’s a whole lot of carousing going on in this playful show.

It opens with a drinking song of sorts as merrymaking villagers (the chorus), in their striped fishermen shirts and red berets, gather in town square for the free booze that Three Cousins’ Cabaret owners Guadalena (Athena Mertes), Berginella (Casey Dakus), and Mastrilla (Stephanie Sadownik) are pouring, clad in lace as they elegantly s