The brilliant Jacques (né Jakob) Offenbach, one of the Jewish German masters of French opera, was born in Cologne 200 years ago today. The Aristophanic, Bacchic Offenbach, best of all the Bachs. For wit, tunefulness, and music that makes you smile (or even laugh), his works are hard to beat. Jupiter tries to seduce a … Continue reading Happy 200th birthday, M. Offenbach!
Operette bouffe in 1 act Composer: Jacques Offenbach and M. de Saint Rémy [pseudonym of the Duc de Morny]. Libretto: Ludovic Halévy, Hector Crémieux, et Ernest L’Epine First performed: Salons du Corps législatif, Palais Bourbon, 31 May 1861, in the presence of Napoléon III. First public performance: Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, 14 September 1861 M. Choufleuri (“Mr Cauliflower”), a … Continue reading 98. M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le… (Jacques Offenbach)
BA-TA-CLAN Chinoiserie musicale in 1 act Composer: Jacques Offenbach Libretto: Ludovic Halévy First performed: Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, 29 December 1855 Hurrah for Jacques Offenbach! Offenbach was one of very few clever, witty composers: a parodist who delighted in turning things on their head, putting familiar elements in strange contexts (and vice versa), toppling sacred cows, … Continue reading 92. Ba-ta-clan (Jacques Offenbach)
Opéra bouffe in 3 acts and 4 tableauxMusic: Jacques OffenbachLibretto: Henri Meilhac & Ludovic HalévyFirst performed: Théâtre des Variétés, Paris, 12 April 1887“C’est tout-à-fait ça," said Bismarck, after seeing Offenbach’s satire of war and petty German princedoms.Offenbach and his librettists Meilhac and Halévy skewer the military mind, court protocol, favoritism, corruption, and absolute monarchy, and reject war … Continue reading 47. La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Jacques Offenbach)
ORPHÉE AUX ENFERSOpéra bouffon in two acts and four scenesBy Jacques OffenbachLibretto : Hector CrémieuxFirst performed : Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens, Paris, 21 October 1858, conducted by Offenbach.Revised as an opéra féerique in four acts and twelve scenes, with libretto by Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. Performed: Théâtre de la Gaité, Paris, 7 February 1874, conducted by Offenbach.The … Continue reading 34. Orphée aux enfers (Jacques Offenbach)
TROMB-AL-CA-ZAR, OU LES CRIMINELS DRAMATIQUESBouffonnerie musicale in 1 actBy Jacques OffenbachLibretto: Charles-Désiré Dupeuty & Ernest BourgetFirst performed : Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, 3 April 1856STORYIGNACE (bass)BEAUJOLAIS (tenor)VERT-PANNÉ (baritone)GIGOLETTE (soprano)SETTING: An inn on the coast near Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Basses-Pyrénées, France.Libretto (in French).COMMENTARYThe prolific Offenbach wrote nearly 60 operas for the Bouffes-Parisiens, the small theatre he founded in 1855 to perform opéra bouffe and … Continue reading 23. Tromb-al-ca-zar (Jacques Offenbach)
LES CONTES D’HOFFMANNBy Jacques OffenbachOpéra in a prologue, 3 acts, and an epilogueLibretto: Jules Barbier, after Barbier and Michel Carré’s play Les Contes d’Hoffmann (1851), based on Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann’s “Der Sandmann” (“The Sandman”), “Rath Krespel” (“Councillor Krespel” / “The Cremona Violin”), and “Das verlorene Spiegelbild” (“The Lost Reflection”).Offenbach's last opera. There is no fixed score, … Continue reading 17. Les contes d’Hoffmann (Jacques Offenbach)