Opera Scotland

Princess of Trébizonde La Princesse de Trébizonde

Tours by decade

Tours by location


Jacques Offenbach (born Cologne, 20 June 1819; died Paris, 5 October 1880)


Charles-Louis-Étienne Nuitter & Étienne Tréfeu.



First Performance: Baden-Baden (Neues Theater), 31 July 1869.

First Performance (Revision): Paris (Bouffes-Parisiens), 7 December 1869.

First Performance in UK: London (Gaiety Theatre), 16 April 1870.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 12 June 1871.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.



Baden-Baden was a highly fashionable German spa town, frequented by the cream of European society, as much for its casino as for its health-giving waters. The theatre hosted commissions of new work by a number of the prominent composers of the day, including Berlioz (Béatrice et Bénédict 1862) and Gounod (La colombe 1860). The former is now recognised as a brilliant, if flawed, work, and the Gounod has found some champions recently (the only opera to feature twice in programmes at Buxton).

Offenbach's Princess was initially successful, touring most of Europe and to New York. In Britain it toured regularly through the 1870s, but it has languished since then, outshone by the consistently superb classics that it followed.

A modern revival, by New Sussex Opera, received 5 performances from 14 November 2021.  It was revealed to contain much attractive music, stymied by a libretto that seemed less than ideal.


Main characters

Casimir, an elderly Prince (tenot)

Raphael, his son (soprano or tenor)

Cabriolo, proprietor of a wax-works (baritone)

Zanetta, his elder daughter (soprano)

Regina, his younger daughter (mezzo-soprano)

Paola, his sister (contralto)

Tremolini, his assistant, in love with Regina (tenor)

Doctor (tenor)


Plot summary


The Cast

 proprietor of the sideshow in a travelling funfair
Director of the Lottery
 a page
 a page
 sister of Cabriolo
 a page
 a page
Prince Casimir
 an elderly grandee
Prince Raphaël
 Casimir's son
 Cabriolo's second daughter
 Prince Raphael's tutor
 Regina's sweetheart
 Cabriolo's elder daughter

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2023

Site by SiteBuddha