Shows "C"

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS Music by Jacques Offenbach: book and lyrics by Don White: score compiled and edited by Patric Schmid SYNOPSIS This is the sort of operetta Offenbach might have written and uses much of the music he had intended for a work for America, together with other gems that lie hidden in unperformed Offenbach scores. The racy, witty and brilliantly zany story concerns the amorous adventures of the polygamous Columbus, who, against his will, is sent across the sea pursued by three wives and a fiancée to find the riches of the Indies. He unwittingly comes across an even greater treasure in the shape of a Cola nut, thus discovering not only a new world but one of America's greatest treasures, Coca Cola! Although not an adaptation, this work has been performed successfully by amateurs and is suitable for companies who perform opera or prefer original versions. THE STORY ACT ONE A Square in Cordova in 1492. The young ladies of Cordova, bored with snapping their castanets, shouting 'Ole', are delighted when Beatriz tells them she is engaged. The object of her affections, Christopher Columbus, explains to the young men of the town that he has discovered the art of seduction - marriage. We soon discover it is an art he has been practising all over Europe, for his past catches up with him in the shape of Rosa, Fleurette and Gretel, wives he has wooed, won and walked out on in Italy, France and Switzerland. Columbus tries to hide from this trio of termagents in the middle of a demonstration organised by the Round Earth Society, led by Luis de Torres. To no avail. Columbus' wives accuse him of quadrigamy, and Cordova's sensitive Chief of Police arrests him - along with everybody else in sight. ACT TWOThe Royal Palace Queen Isabella has a hangover. Her attempts to recall the events of the night before are interrupted by a disturbance outside the palace. The prisoners are brought before her. Guilty or not guilty? Columbus is asked. He replies that dazzled by Isabella's beauty he has quite forgotten the defence he had prepared. Case dismissed, says Isabella. And so is everybody else - except, of course, Columbus, who is left alone with Her Majesty to fight for his honour. Just in the nick of time, King Ferdinand arrives. Isabella hastily explains that Columbus was showing her a new way... to the East. Ferdinand thinks this is a splendid idea for replenishing the coffers left empty by Isabella's shopping expeditions, and offers Columbus the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria cheap. Isabella loans her jewels to pay for them (at 49½%) and, as his crew - all of his fellow disturbers of the peace. ACT THREE Aboard the Santa Maria Columbus is seasick. The rest of the crew are finding the sea voyage most pleasant - until their first Atlantic storm, and the discovery that they have gone off the map. Once again Columbus is blamed for their misfortune and despite Beatriz' plea for clemency, he is put into a longboat and cast adrift. As they plan to turn back to Spain, the lookout cries 'land ho!' ACT FOUR A deep forest, somewhere in downtown Manhattan. The ladies feel quite sure that they have not reached the Indies and an attack by Red Indians confirms their