Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) was a romantic era German, French composer and impresario. A child prodigy, at four he studied violin with his father; at nine he fell in love with the cello. At 14 he was accepted as a student to the prestigious Paris Conservatoire.
But Offenbach grew bored and left after a year. He was able to make a living as a cellist and conductor. This led to international fame.
Finally Offenbach began to compose comic pieces for the musical theatre, his dream. During his life he composed nearly 100 operettas. His work influenced future composers. Many of his operettas continue being staged and performed.
Tales of Hoffmann
The Tales of Hoffmann was his final work. It is an uncompleted masterpiece.
The opéra is based on three of T.A. Hoffmann’s stories. While it remains part of the standard opera repertory it has been made into films. The first a 1916 silent German film, followed by a 1923 and a 1951 movie. There will likely be more to movies to come.
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