Jacques Offenbach

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Offenbach, Jacques


(pen name of Jakob Eberst). Born June 20, 1819, in Cologne; died Apr. 10, 1880, in Paris. French composer, one of the founders of the classical operetta. Son of a cantor.

From 1833, Offenbach lived in Paris. He began his career as a composer of theater music (1839) and studied composition with J. F. Halévy. In 1849 he became composer and conductor at the Comédie Française. In 1855 he opened his own theater, the Bouffes-Parisiens, which he directed until 1861.

The parody operetta Orpheus in Hades (1858; second version, 1874) won recognition for Offenbach. He consolidated his success with the operettas La Belle Hélène (1864), Bluebeard (1866), La Vie parisienne (1866), La Périchole (1868), and Les Brigands (1869). Although these works had mythological, fairytale, and topical or anecdotal themes, they provided a satirical portrait of bourgeois society under the Second Empire. Parody was an important aspect of all of them.

In 1876–77, Offenbach toured the USA, appearing as a conductor. The last years of his life were marked by a surge of creativity. He composed the operettas Madame Favart (1878) and La fille du tambour-major (1879), as well as the opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which his lyrical gift was powerfully displayed (1880; E. Guiraud’s version staged in 1881). Offenbach composed more than 100 operettas, laying the foundation for the genre. His music was democratic, permeated with the intonations of Parisian urban lore and the rhythms of popular dances. His striking gift for melody, his technical mastery in composition, and his excellent grasp of the principles of the stage made him an outstanding master of musical theater and won international popularity for his compositions.


Sollertinskii, I. Zhak Offenbakh. Leningrad, 1933.
Decaux, A. Offenbach, roi du Second Empire. Paris, 1958.


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Contains arias by Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet, Emmanuel Chabrier, Leo Delibes, Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Jacques Offenbach, Gioachino Rossini, Camille Saint-Saens, Ambroise Thomas, and Giuseppe Verdi.
The dances were all performed to bits and pieces of taped music by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Jacques Offenbach, John Philip Sousa, Ferde Grof and others.
1819: Composer Jacques Offenbach - creator of Tales Of Hoffman, Orpheus In The Underworld - was born in Cologne.
After last season's concert version of Shostakovich's The Gamblers, comes A Husband At the Door by Jacques Offenbach, and Susanna's Secret by Wolf-Ferrari.
Its production of The Tales of Hoffman, by Jacques Offenbach, will be at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, opening on February 22.
What: The Los Angeles Opera opens its new season with a Jacques Offenbach operetta directed by Garry Marshall.
Mozart, a tuba concerto by Edward Gregson, a double bass concerto by Giovanni Bottesini, plus vocal selections by Jacques Offenbach, Gustav Mahler, and Mozart.
1819: Composer Jacques Offenbach creator of Tales Of Hoffman, Orpheus In The Underworld - was born in Cologne.
1819 Composer Jacques Offenbach - Tales Of Hoffman, Orpheus In The Underworld - was born in Cologne.
What: The Los Angeles Opera's production of the Jacques Offenbach operetta directed by Garry Marshall.
The situation was somewhat better in Paris, where German-born Jews Giacomo (Jacob) Meyerbeer, Jacques Offenbach, and Jacques Frommenthal-Halevy - the fathers of the last two were cantors - made their way as operatic composers.
Composers and Compositions" includes discussions of Salomon Rossi and his contemporaries, nineteenth-century composers Giacomo Meyerbeer, Jacques Halevy, and Jacques Offenbach, and twentieth-century century emigre composers Ernest Bloch, Darius Milhaud, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ernest Toch, Erich Zeisl, Stefan Wolpe, Kurt Weill, Leonard Bernstein, and, of course, Arnold Schoenberg, among others.