The Cleveland Opera

Bon Appétit!

by Lee Hoiby

Spring 2021

A comic culinary extravaganza, this eighteen-minute-long chamber opera featuring a single performer taps the wit and antics of one of America's best-loved television personalities.

Bon Appétit! was comprised of two icons of the television age: music draped over the words and gestures of Julia Child, the mother-of-all-foodies, in her black-and-white days; written for Jean Stapleton, famed original-cast, Broadway-musical comedienne, in her late career. Today, the work lives on by virtue of flamboyant mezzos, accompanied by piano at gala occasions where great quantities of chocolate are consumed.

Hoiby's music deftly veers around Broadway chansons, early television, and Ravelian apotheosis to underline Julia Child's compelling domestic appeal.