Jacques Offenbach was born in Cologne in 1819. He left Germany at a very early age and lived in Paris where he died in 1880. His d 'ebuts in the French capital were as a virtuoso cellist (student at the Paris Conservatory, member of the orchestra of the Op 'era Comique, and a very fashionable society musician). From the musical directorship of the Com 'edie Francaise, he graduated to composing for the stage, creating the true French Operetta, managing Parisian theatres, and gradually producing a string of masterpieces which have won him universal popular appeal and withstood every test of time and fashion. He composed a staggering total of 113 stage works (some incomplete), and approximately 256 vocal and 253 instrumental works. The stage works include three operas (of which the third, The Tales of Hoffman , is justly considered a masterpiece) and such unsurpassed operettas as Orpheus in the Underworld , La Belle H 'el 'ene , La P 'erichole , The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein , and La Vie Parisienne . This complete thematic catalogue of Offenbach's works took Antonio de Almeida some 25 years to compile.
He had where possible gone back to original manuscripts, and has provided as detailed and comprehensive a guide to Offenbach as is possible at the present time. This book is intended for students and enthusiasts of Offenbach; scholars and lovers of opera and operetta in nineteenth-century France.show more