Jacques Offenbach

About Offenbach (courtesy of ClassicCat.net)

Jacques Offenbach (born Jacob Offenbach; 20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880) was a German-born French composer and cellist of theRomantic era and one of the originators of the operetta form. Of German-Jewish ancestry, he was one of the most influential composers of popular music in Europe in the 19th century, and many of his works remain in the repertory.

Offenbach's numerous operettas, such as Orpheus in the Underworld, and La belle Hélène, were extremely popular in both France and the English-speaking world during the 1850s and 1860s. They combined political and cultural satire with witty grand opera parodies. His popularity in France went down during the 1870s after the Second Empire, and he fled France, but during the last years of his life, his popularity rebounded, and several of his operettas are still performed. While his name remains associated most closely with the Frenchoperetta and the Second Empire, it is Offenbach's one fully operatic masterpiece, The Tales of Hoffmann (Les Contes d'Hoffmann), composed at the end of his career, that has become the most familiar of Offenbach's works in major opera houses.

Big image

About Orpheus in the Underworld (courtesy of MusicalTheatreGuide.com)

The first of Offenbach's outrageously funny 'send-ups' of Greek mythology, this is an unashamedly Gallic version of the classic legend of Orpheus's pursuit of his wife Eurydice, who is carried off to Hades by Pluto - much to the annoyance of Jupiter. A highly disrespectful romp, it involves nymphs, shepherds, gods and goddesses, with the fun reaching its climax in the riotous revels of the celebrated "Can-Can". A lively and highly enjoyable show for both performers and audience, with many world-famous tunes.
Can Can from Orpheus in the Underworld: Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra