Jacques Offenbach  
Jacques Offenbach
Jacques Offenbach, original name Jacob Offenbach (born June 20, 1819, Cologne, Prussia [Germany]—died October 5, 1880, Paris, France), composer who created a type of light burlesque French comic opera known as the opérette, which became one of the most characteristic artistic products of the period.

He was the son of a cantor at the Cologne Synagogue, Isaac Juda Eberst, who had been born at Offenbach am Main. The father was known as “Der Offenbacher,” and the composer was known only by his assumed name, Offenbach. Attracted by Paris’s more tolerant attitude toward Jews, Offenbach’s father took him there in his youth, and in 1833 he was enrolled as a cello student at the Paris Conservatoire.

Offenbach as a young cello virtuoso,
drawing by Alexandre Laemlein from 1850

In 1844, having been converted to Roman Catholicism, he married Herminie d’Alcain, the daughter of a Spanish Carlist. In 1849, after playing the cello in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, he became conductor at the Théâtre Français. In 1855 he opened a theatre of his own, the Bouffes-Parisiens, which he directed until 1866 and where he gave many of his celebrated operettas, among them Orphée aux enfers (1858; Orpheus in the Underworld). He then produced operettas at Ems in Germany and an opéra-ballet in Vienna, Die Rheinnixen (1864; Rhine Spirits). Returning in 1864 to Paris, he produced at the Variétés his successful operetta La Belle Hélène (1864). Other successes followed, including La Vie Parisienne (1866), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867), and La Périchole (1868). From 1872 to 1876 he directed the Théâtre de la Gaîté, and in 1874 he produced there a revised version of Orphée aux enfers. Described then as an opéra-féerique (“a fairylike opera”), this venture was a financial failure. In 1876 he made a tour of the United States. The remaining years of his life were devoted to composition.

His only grand opera, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann), remained unfinished at his death. It was orchestrated and provided with recitatives by Ernest Guiraud, who also introduced the famous barcarolle taken from Die Rheinnixen. Described as an opéra-fantastique, it was first produced at the Opéra-Comique on February 10, 1881. Gaîté Parisienne, a suite of Offenbach’s music arranged by Manuel Rosenthal, remains a popular orchestral work as well as ballet score.

Offenbach with his only son, Auguste, 1865


Offenbach is credited with writing in a fluent, elegant style and with a highly developed sense of both characterization and satire (particularly in his irreverent treatment of mythological subjects); he was called by Gioachino Rossini “our little Mozart of the Champs-Elysées.” Indeed, he was almost as prolific as Mozart. He wrote more than 100 stage works, many of which, transcending topical associations, were maintained in the repertory of the 21st century.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Poster by Offenbach's friend Nadar
Jacques Offenbach - Les contes d'Hoffmann - Intégral
Les contes d'Hoffmann, opéra en 5 actes.

Diana DAMRAU : Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia, Stella.
John RELYEA : Lindorf, Coppelius, Dapertutto, Miracle.
Angela BROWER : Nicklausse, Muse.
Rolando VILLAZON : Hoffmann.

Orchestre national de Bavière, direction Constantinos CARYDIS.
Opéra de Munich.

enregistrement ARTE télévision, décembre 2011.

JACQUES OFFENBACH.- 1819-1880.- Gaité Parisienne
Gaité Parisienne

Orquesta Sinfónica de Pittsburgh

Director: André Previn

Jacques Offenbach - La Vie parisienne - Ouverture
La Vie parisienne, opéra bouffe in five acts, first performance 31 October 1866, Palais-Royal, Paris.

Libretto: Henri Meilhac/Ludovic Halévy


Orchestra: London Festival Orchestra

Offenbach: Famous Orchestral Highlights (Reynald Giovaninetti - Monte-Carlo National Orchestra)
Famous Orchestral Highlights from Operas

01. Orpheus in the Underworld - Overture I (0:10)
02. Orpheus in the Underworld - Galop (Act IV) (8:50)
03. Orpheus in the Underworld - Overture II (10:53)
04. The Tales of Hoffman - Entr'acte (Act II) (20:27)
05. The Tales of Hoffman - Entr'acte & Barcarolle (Act III) (21:51)
06. The Drum-Major's Daughter - Overture (25:45)
07. Madame Favart - Overture (32:45)
08. The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein - Overture (37:47)
09. La Perichole - Entr'acte (Act II) & Entr'acte (2nd tableau - Act III) (42:05)
10. La Belle Helene - Entr'acte (Act II) (49:34)

Monte-Carlo National Opera Orchestra

Jaques Offenbach: Orpheus in der Unterwelt /López-Cobos-Johnson-Grobe-Varnay /
Orpheus in der Unterwelt
Julia Migenes-Johnson (Euridyke)
Donald Grobe (Orpheus)
Hans Beirer (Jupiter)
Astrid Varnay (Juno)
Peter Maus (Merkur)
Janis Martin (Diana)
carol Malone (Cupido)
Helmut Lohner(Hans Styx)
George Shirley (Pluto)
Mona Seefried (Oeffentliche Meinung)
Cond - Jesus Lopez-Cobos
January 1984
La bella Helena - J. Offenbach
Anna Moffo
René Kollo
Hans Kraemmer
Iván Rebroff
Offenbach - Can Can Music
Fernsehballett - Can Can 2010
Barcarole (Offenbach) - The Philadelphia Orchestra
Barcarolle - Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca - Offenbach Barcarola
Caballé, Horne - Barcarolle
Montserrat Caballé and Marilyn Horne in concert singing the duet "Belle Nuit", also known as Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffmann by Offenbach. Munich, 1990
Jacques Offenbach - Grand Concerto for cello in G-major "Concerto militare" (1847)
Grand Concerto for cello in G-major "Concerto militare" (1847)

Mov.I: Allegro maestoso 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 14:40
Mov.III: Allegretto 23:18

Cello: Jérôme Pernoo http://www.jeromepernooweblabel.com/

Orchestra: Les Musiciens du Louvre

Conductor: Marc Minkowski

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