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E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776—1822) German novelist, short-story writer, and music critic

Ernest Guiraud (1837—1892)

operetta

Henri Meilhac (1831—1897)

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Jacques Offenbach

(1819—1880) German composer


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(b Deutz, nr. Cologne, 1819; d Paris, 1880).

Ger.‐Fr. composer, conductor, and cellist. Orig. surname Eberst, Wiener, or Levy: took name Offenbach because family came from Offenbach‐am‐Main. Son of cantor of Cologne synagogue. Studied Paris Cons. 1833–7, also playing vc. in Opéra‐Comique orch. Cond. at Théâtre Français, 1849–55. From 1853 began to compose operettas, writing no fewer than 90 in the next quarter‐cent. Man. of Théâtre Comte, renaming it Bouffes‐Parisiens. The best of his lighter works, La Belle Hélène, Orphée aux Enfers, etc., symbolize the Fr. 2nd Empire, but his fame rests equally securely on his sole grand opera Les contes d'Hoffmann, on which he worked for many years. It was prod. after his death in a version rev. and largely orchestrated by Guiraud. Among his chief works are:

operas:

Die Rheinnixen

(Vienna 1864);

Les contes d'Hoffmann

(The Tales of Hoffmann) (1877–80).

ballet‐pantomime:

Le Papillon

(1860).

operettas:

Barbe‐bleue

(1866);

La Belle Hélène

(1864);

Les Bergers de Watteau

(1865);

Daphnis et Chloé

(1860);

Les Deux Aveugles

(1855);

Dragonette

(1857);

La Fille du tambour‐major

(1879);

Genéviève de Brabant

(1859, rev. 1875);

La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein

(1867);

Madame Favart

(1878);

Le Mariage aux lanternes

(1857);

Monsieur Choufleuri

(1861);

Orphée aux enfers

(Orpheus in the Underworld) (1858, rev. 1874);

La Périchole

(1868, rev. 1874);

Princesse de Trébizonde

(1869);

Robinson Crusoé

(1867);

La Vie parisienne

(1866, rev. 1873; see also Gaîté parisienne);

Pomme d'api

(1873);

Whittington and his Cat

(1874).

Subjects: Music


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