Bring on the opera heat: Rediscovered “Tabasco” to premiere in New Orleans

Posted on: January 25, 2018

“Love, hate and hot sauce are themes of a 19th century comic opera being produced this week as a kickoff to New Orleans’ 300th anniversary. It’s also the 150th anniversary for Tabasco sauce and the New Orleans Opera’s 75th,” writes Janet McConnaughey in Tuesday’s (1/23) Associated Press. ” ‘Tabasco: a Burlesque Opera’ had been stuck in an attic for more than a century when conductor Paul Mauffray found a program from its 1894 tour in archives for the opera company … An official history of McIlhenny Co., which makes the sauce, showed that … McIlhenny had sponsored the original tour. The Tabasco-making company underwrote the sold-out production running Thursday to Sunday. Composer George Whitefield Chadwick was well known in his day…. [‘Tabasco’] was the most popular American opera from the pre-20th century,’ [Mauffray said].… The show played in at least 48 cities, from Dallas to Rhode Island, when Chadwick realized he wasn’t getting royalties, Mauffray said. Chadwick had Seabrook arrested and took back his music…. The opera’s wacky plot involves traders, a harem girl named Fatima and her older counterpart Hasbeena, [and] a sultan obsessed with spicy food.”

Posted January 25, 2018