La Belle Helene Overture

From Wind Repertory Project
Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach (arr. Odom)

The title translates from the French as Fair Helen of Troy.

General Info

Year: 1864 / 1978
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Neil A. Kjos Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00  |   Score Only (print) - $5.00

For further availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Solo Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

First produced in 1864, La Belle Hèléne deals with the rivalry between Paris and Hèléne’s husband Menelaus for her favor. Paris’s pursuit of Hèléne and her infidelity to her husband with him result in her falling in love with Paris, and Menelaus’s throwing himself into the sea in a suicide attempt. He is rescued, however, and subsequently joins the army to fight the Trojan war.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

La Belle Héléne is a satirical operetta from the pen of Jacques Offenbach. It was written as a spoof on the Greek myth of Helen of Troy. It can also be constructed as a satire on the age of Napoleon III. The first performance was given in Paris in 1864 at the Théâtre des Variétés. The Overture to La Belle Héléne is one of the favorites in modern orchestral programming

- Program Note from publisher

Dedicated to Col. Arnald Gabriel.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Minnesota: II
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Maryland Winds (Baltimore) (Timothy Holtan, conductor) - 19 February 2023
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Symphonic Winds (Colin R. McKenzie, conductor) - 20 April 2021
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) Concert Band (Jonathan Sweet, conductor) - 4 October 2020
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Concert Band (Keith Taylor, conductor) - 5 March 2020
  • University of Louisville (Ky.) Symphonic Band (Jason Cumberledge, conductor) - 17 February 2020
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Symphonic Band (T. André Feagin, conductor) - 18 October 2019
  • New England Conservatory (Boston, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Charles Peltz, conductor) – 16 April 2019
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) – 14 February 2019
  • Virginia Grand Military Band (Alexandria) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) – 13 October 2018
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) University Band (James Popejoy, conductor) – 9 October 2018
  • Butler University (Indianapolis, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Michael J. Colburn, conductor) – 26 April 2018
  • Greenwich (Conn.) High School Wind Ensemble (John Yoon, conductor) – 3 April 2018
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 12 March 2018
  • Kings Park Concert Band (Springfield/Burke, Va.) (Richard Bergman, conductor) – 9 April 2016
  • University of Central Florida, Symphonic Band (Jason Cumberledge, conductor) - 19 February 2016
  • John A. Logan Community Band (Carterville, Ill.) (Michael Hanes, conductor) – 2 November 2014
  • The Goldman Band (Chris Wiljhelm, conductor) – 25 February 2005 (CBDNA 2005 National Conference, New York, N.Y.)

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • The Can-Can (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Thorp) (1858/2008)

All Wind Works