The original Bataclan aria

The attacked theatre was named for this.

Just so you should know.

bataclanbataclan

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  • Norman, thank you for letting know about that. Offenbach’s operetta titled “Ba-ta-clan” was his big success. Who could predict what would happen in the theater named after the funny comedy.

  • The title “Ba-ta-clan” refers to the rebel song in the operetta and is a word that is an orientalized version of the word “Ra-ta-plan” in French, which is “an onomatopoetic word suggesting the beating of a drum (like “rat-a-tat” in English), much used in French comic operas with a military theme.”

    Opera fans will all recognize the famous “Rataplan” in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-5uY9yqVo

    • And here is Offenbach’s orientalized version in his operetta:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew-22hdT2sk

      Which is awfully funny.

      Alas, like The Mikado of Gilbert and Sullivan, the days of chinoiserie and japonaiserie operettas where white singers dress up as Asians are over.

      Yes, yes, I know, Ba-ta-clan is actually a sendup of Napoleon III and not the Chinese, but still, the sight of white singers in “black face”, to borrow a term, won’t fly in the 21st century.

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