LA PERICHOLE is an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach. Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy wrote the French-language libretto based on the 1829 one act play LE CARROSSE DU SAINT-SACREMENT by Prosper Mérimée, which was revived on 13 March 1850 at the Théâtre-Français.
LA PERICHOLE's title character is based on Micaela Villegas, a beloved 18th century Peruvian entertainer and the famous mistress of Manuel de Amat y Juniet, Viceroy of Peru from 1761 to 1776. The story concerns two impoverished Peruvian street-singers, too poor to afford a marriage license, and a lecherous viceroy, Don Andrès de Ribeira, who wishes to make La Périchole his mistress.
The score is in what Andrew Lamb calls Offenbach's "most charming", rather than satirical style, with boleros, seguidillas and galops to provide the exotic backdrop.