Le voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) by the 19th century French composer Jacque Offenbach is an opéra-féerie (an operetta based on fairy tales) which takes much of its storyline from the novel From the Earth to the Moon by the massively popular Jules Verne. The first production in 1875 was a groundbreaking, and hugely financially successful, science fiction spectacular. Not only were there 673 sumptuous costumes but, clearly, no expense had been spared on the 24 sets depicting locations as diverse as a glacier, a volcano (which duly erupts!), the Observatory of Paris and a glass palace. There was also much use of trapdoors and pyrotechnics to add to the drama: even a dromedary put in an appearance!
Two ballets were also incorporated in the operetta, the second of which, Ballet des flocons de neige (Grand ballet of the snowflakes) appears at the end of Act 3 in which the action takes place at ‘50 degrees below zero’. This Polka is the fifth of eight ‘movements’ in the ballet.