Tabasco celebrates 150 years with return of burlesque opera

Tabasco Pepper Sauce is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the return of "Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera."

Yes, you read that right.

There is a Tabasco-themed opera. And it's not a new concept.

The Tabasco opera — which dates back to the late 1800s — will make a comeback in January after a 120-year absence. 

The operetta cheekily pays homage to the hot sauce through the story of a shipwrecked Irish sailor searching for an acceptable spicy ingredient for an Ottoman ruler's lunch.

“For nearly 150 years, Tabasco Sauce has played a rich and storied role in the history of food and in American and global culture,” said Anthony A. Simmons, president and CEO of McIlhenny Company and fifth-generation McIlhenny family member. “As we proudly celebrate my great-great-grandfather’s legacy, we thought it fitting to resurrect one of the more musical moments in our history."

The Tabasco opera will happen January 25-28 at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré in New Orleans.

The event will be guest conducted by Paul Mauffray and produced by the New Orleans Opera Association.

Mauffray uncovered a vocal score of the Tabasco opera while researching the history of opera in New Orleans. He eventually was able to track down the full, handwritten autograph score.

The Tabasco opera is an official event of the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission.

Tabasco Pepper Sauce has been made in south Louisiana since 1868. The opera will kick off the company's 150th-anniversary celebration.

The lighthearted, comedic operetta originated in 1894 and has not been staged in its entirety since the late 1800s.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at neworleansopera.org/tabasco.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2018. All Rights Reserved


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