Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880). The son of a German cantor, Jacques Offenbach went on to become the king of French operetta, penning such works as Orphée aux Enfers and La Belle Hélène for a delighted audience of Parisians. In all, Offenbach composed over 100 operettas, many of which were staged in his own theater, the Bouffe-Parisiens. Offenbach never lived to complete Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) – his magnum opus and the only grand opera he ever wrote.
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