Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Douglas Rust

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Christopher Goertzen

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Jonathon Yarrington

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Susan Ruggiero

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Dr. Maryann Kyle

Committee Member 5 School



This dissertation originated from my personal experience in performing the role of Pâris in Offenbach’s La belle Hélène and the research I conducted in preparation for the performance. Upon examining the score, I discovered the role to contain vocal elements that seemed foreign to my expectations of operatic repertoire. After consulting as many scholarly sources as I could find on the subject, I discovered little to no sense of direction in preparing and performing this unique role or for French operetta as a genre. I decided to compile my experience and research into a usable tool for preparing a French operetta performance practice via a role guide for Pâris.

Chapter I gives an introduction of my personal experience with the role and a short historical background of the environment that produced such a work. I also provide a concise breakdown of standard performance practice for French opera and how it relates to my interpretation of Offenbach’s music as a unique French operetta style. Chapter II takes each piece from the opera and provides a detailed guide for successful performance and addresses various eccentricities which are far enough outside the standard repertoire they might incur consternation in the singer. Chapter III contains my concluding remarks on the role and its place in the repertoire, and the subsequent appendix contains a rehearsal breakdown for the most effective practice of the role.