In 1866 Jacques Offenbach composed ‘La vie parisienne’, an opéra bouffe, or operetta with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. This work was Offenbach's first full-length piece to portray contemporary Parisian life, unlike his earlier period pieces and mythological subjects. It became one of Offenbach's most popular operettas.
The story begins at the ‘Gare de l'Ouest’, where the employees list the provenance of trains arriving from different places in France. The station fills with all kind of passengers arriving for a good time in Paris, including a Brazilian returning after having spent his fortune once before in the city. He sings the aria ‘Je suis Brésilien, j'ai de l'or’.