Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Any impulse in a measured rhythmic pattern except the first (called the Downbeat); the term is commonly applied to rhythms that emphasize the weak beats of the bar (ex.1). The impulse that immediately precedes – and anticipates – the downbeat of a bar is called the Upbeat.

See also Rhythm.

Offenbach, Jacques [Jacob]

(b Cologne, 20 June 1819; d Paris, 5 Oct 1880). French composer of German origin. He was, with Johann Strauss (ii), one of the two composers of outstanding significance in popular music of the 19th century and the composer of some of the most exhilaratingly gay and tuneful music ever written. His opera Les contes d’Hoffmann has retained a place in the international repertory, but his most significant achievements lie in the field of operetta. Orphée aux enfers, La belle Hélène, La vie parisienne, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and La Périchole remain outstanding examples of the French and international operetta repertory. Moreover, it was through the success of Offenbach’s works abroad that operetta became an established international genre, producing outstanding national exponents in Strauss, Sullivan and Lehár and evolving into the 20th-century musical.

1. Life.

2. Works.




Offenbach, Jacques

1. Life.

His father, born Isaac Juda Eberst, left his native Offenbach am Main in about 1800 for Cologne, where he became known as ‘Der Offenbacher’ and then simply Offenbach. He earned a living from bookbinding, music teaching and composition, and was later cantor at a synagogue in Cologne. Jacob was the second son and the seventh of ten children, and was born a short distance from the square in Cologne which today bears his name. He was first taught the violin, but at the age of nine took up the cello. With his brother Julius (1815–80) who played the violin, and sister Isabella (1817–91) at the piano he formed a trio which played in Cologne bars. He studied at first with Joseph Alexander and then with Bernhard Breuer; he dedicated his first published composition to the latter in 1833. In November of that year Isaac took Julius and Jacob to Paris in search of further tuition. There a place was obtained for Jacob at the Conservatoire, and positions were found for the two boys in a synagogue choir before Isaac returned to Cologne.

In Paris the two boys were soon known as Jules and Jacques. The latter left the Conservatoire after a year’s study with Vaslin, and after brief periods with two orchestras he found a position in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique. There he played beside Hippolyte Seligmann, and received further tuition with Seligmann’s own teacher Louis Norblin. He also met Halévy, who gave him some composition lessons. In the summers of 1836 and 1837 some waltzes were performed in the Jardin Turc under Jullien, including one, Rebecca, on 15th-century Hebrew themes. After leaving the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique in 1838, he made the acquaintance of Flotow, through whom he gained entry to Paris salons, performing with him jointly composed pieces for cello and piano. Through contacts made in the salons he obtained pupils and also received a commission for a score for a vaudeville Pascal et Chambord produced in March 1839. In January 1839 he gave his first public concert with his brother Jules.

During the 1840s he continued his career as a cello virtuoso, appearing in Paris in 1841 with Anton Rubinstein and in Cologne in 1843 with Liszt. In May 1844 he visited London, performing at concerts of the Musical Union with Joachim and Mendelssohn and at an Ascot Week banquet at Windsor Castle. That August, after becoming a Roman Catholic, he married Herminie d’Alcain; he had met her at the salon of her mother, whose second husband was related to a London concert agent, John Mitchell. Meanwhile, his attempts to get stage works, including the one-act L’alcôve, accepted by the Opéra-Comique were unsuccessful, and he was forced to arrange concerts of his own to have them performed. His hopes of greater success with Adam’s Opéra National were dashed by the Revolution of 1848, during which he temporarily returned to Cologne.

In 1850 he was appointed conductor at the Théâtre Français, but he continued to have little success in getting his stage works accepted until the Exhibition year of 1855. Then, no doubt emboldened by the success of Hervé’s Folies-Nouvelles, where Offenbach’s own Oyayaye, ou La reine des îles had been accepted, he rented for the Exhibition season the tiny wooden Théâtre Marigny in the Champs Elysées. With a hastily compiled programme of short comic pieces, the theatre opened as the Bouffes-Parisiens on 5 July. With occasional changes of programme, the entertainments were a big success of the Exhibition season, enabling Offenbach to give up his position at the Théâtre Français and transfer to winter quarters at the Théâtre Comte (Théâtre des Jeunes Elèves) in the Passage Choiseul. The following summer he moved again to the Théâtre Marigny, but from the following winter settled permanently in the Salle Choiseul.

Besides his own works his repertory embraced those of other composers, including Adam, Delibes, Duprato, Gastinel and Jonas as well as adaptations of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino. In 1856 his competition for young composers attracted 78 entrants: the winners were Bizet and Lecocq, with their settings of Le Docteur Miracle. The continuing success of the Bouffes persuaded John Mitchell to bring them to London. The entire company (including Jules Offenbach, who was leader of the orchestra) opened an eight-week season at St James’s Theatre in May 1857 and also included a performance before the exiled Queen Marie-Amélie at Claremont.

Initially Offenbach’s licence restricted him to pieces for only two or three stage performers, but the loosening of restrictions gradually enabled him to produce more ambitious works. The two-act Orphée aux enfers (1858) was a big success and the prototype of the larger-scale operettas, though for a time he continued to concentrate mainly on one-act works. In 1860 a two-act ballet Le papillon was produced at the Opéra and the three-act Barkouf at the Opéra-Comique, without giving him any greater acceptance in more respectable circles. Although he resigned as director of the Bouffes in January 1862, he continued to write mainly for that theatre and for the summer theatre at Bad Ems. In 1860 he had become a naturalized Frenchman and in August 1861 was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur. His family by now consisted of four daughters and a son Auguste (1862–83), and besides his Paris home in the rue Lafitte he also owned a Villa Orphée in the fashionable Normandy resort of Etretat.

His opéras bouffes had by now become established abroad, particularly in Vienna, at first in pirated versions and then under the composer’s own direction. While he was in Vienna in 1864 his romantic opera Die Rheinnixen was performed at the Hofoper, and he composed a waltz Abendblätter in competition with the Morgenblätter of Johann Strauss (ii), whom he is also reputed to have encouraged to write operettas. From the same year dates the period of his greatest successes with La belle Hélène (1864) followed by Barbe-bleue (1866), La vie parisienne (1866), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (1867) and La Périchole (1868). During the Exhibition season of 1867 his works filled three Paris theatres, but thereafter his success began to wane. Popular taste in the musical theatre changed after the civil war of 1870–71, for much of the duration of which he was abroad in San Sebastian, Italy, London and Vienna.

During the 1870s it was the more escapist works of Lecocq that attracted the public, although Offenbach’s own new works continued to be performed. On 1 June 1873 he took over the management of the Théâtre de la Gaîté, where he produced spectacular new versions of Orphée aux enfers and Geneviève de Brabant. But he was a poor businessman, and losses suffered on a production of Sardou’s La haine in 1874 forced him into bankruptcy. He then composed music for a Christmas piece Whittington (1874) for the Alhambra in London, and in an endeavour to make up some of his losses he embarked on a trip to the USA for the Philadelphia centennial Exhibition of 1876. He gave some 40 concerts in New York and Philadelphia as well as conducting performances of La vie parisienne and La jolie parfumeuse. On his return he published a volume of his impressions of the USA.

In his last years he experienced success in London with Madame Favart (1878) and in Paris with La fille du tambour-major (1879) as well as with revivals of earlier works such as Orphée aux enfers with Hervé as Jupiter for the Exhibition season of 1878. However, his main preoccupation was with the score of the fantastic opera Les contes d’Hoffmann. During 1880 he was working on the score at the Pavillon Henri IV in Saint Germain-en-Laye, but in September worsening health forced him to return to Paris. There he died in October, the gout from which he suffered having affected his heart. At the request of his family, the score of Les contes d’Hoffmann was completed by Guiraud and that of an operetta Belle Lurette by Delibes.

Offenbach, Jacques

2. Works.

As with all stage works for the genre, the success of Offenbach’s operettas depended a good deal on the librettists and performers. In this respect Offenbach was both well served and skilful at discovering talent. Like Sullivan, and unlike Johann Strauss (ii), he was consistently blessed with workable subjects and genuinely witty librettos. His chief librettist, Ludovic Halévy (1834–1908), was one of the leading French theatrical writers of the time, and was given his chance at the age of 21 in writing material for the opening night of the Bouffes-Parisiens in 1855. Offenbach’s leading lady Hortense Schneider (1833–1920), who enjoyed immense personal success in La belle Hélène, Barbe bleue, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and La Périchole, was also discovered by Offenbach and given a role in Le violoneux as early as August 1855. Likewise Zulma Bouffar, star of La vie parisienne and Les brigands, was discovered by Offenbach himself.

Offenbach’s sound theatrical judgment extended to his part in selecting and shaping the subjects he used. Many of these were satirical treatments of familiar tales, for example myths (Orphée aux enfers, La belle Hélène) or stories well known in France (Geneviève de Brabant, Barbe-bleue, Robinson Crusoé), while others satirized contemporary society and politics (La vie parisienne (fig.2), La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein). His one-act works include similar examples, such as M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le … which satirized Paris salons, while others were slight comic sketches such as the highly successful Les deux aveugles. He satirized particularly the regime of Napoleon III, and it was with the fall of Napoleon III that Offenbach’s own success declined.

The humour of the pieces was rarely very subtle in purely musical terms, in keeping with the requirements of his audiences. Effect was often achieved by quoting familiar music, the satire being not so much in the treatment of the themes themselves as by introducing the themes in incongruous surroundings. Examples of such quotations are the introduction of music from Les Huguenots in Ba-ta-clan, Gluck’s ‘Che farò’ in Orphée aux enfers, the patriotic trio from Guillaume Tell in La belle Hélène, and Donizetti’s La fille du régiment in La fille du tambour-major. Other comic devices were the introduction of parts for animals (Barkouf) and the setting of gibberish (Ba-ta-clan). He further exploited incongruity, for example in Orphée aux enfers by providing a cancan for the gods, and in La belle Hélène by setting the phrase ‘Un vile séducteur’ to his most lilting waltz tune and by building up a grandiose operatic ensemble around the banal phrase ‘L’homme à la pomme’. He also exploited the natural flexibility of the French language by varying accentuation, and a notable device was the breaking-up of words as in La Périchole:

Aux maris ré,

Aux maris cal,
Aux maris ci,
Aux maris trants,
Aux maris récalcitrants.

All this he backed up with simple but effective devices of a purely musical nature. His tunes are very often built upon a rising phrase and in a major key, but he achieved remarkable variety of mood by varying the rhythmic pattern. Noteworthy too is his gradual speeding-up of the finale of an act to achieve an exciting climax. His vocal writing produced outstanding lyrical examples such as the tenor’s ‘Au mont Ida’ (La belle Hélène) and rumbustious comic songs such as the Gendarmes’ Duet (Geneviève de Brabant); but when he allowed himself to break away from straightforward rhythmic patterns, he produced examples of sensitive shaping of phrases in solos written for Hortense Schneider in La belle Hélène and La Périchole.

The most individual feature of Offenbach’s orchestration lies in his use of brass to heighten the impact and excitement of climaxes. He generally made effective use of wind instruments, but for much of his work he was restricted in orchestral resources and in any case concerned to ensure that the orchestra did not obscure the words. In fact, it is not always his own orchestration that is heard. The well-known overture to Orphée aux enfers, for example, was composed on Offenbach’s themes by Carl Binder (1816–60) for the Vienna production of 1860. Through this overture and particularly through the famous cancan, Orphée aux enfers has remained Offenbach’s best-known operetta (fig.3), though a consensus as to the best of his operettas would probably prefer La vie parisienne for its sparkle, La Périchole for its charm and La belle Hélène for its all-round brilliance.

Offenbach’s talents were often stretched by the need to work at breakneck speed to produce new works. For the same reason he often re-used material. Thus La chanson de Fortunio (1861), one of his best one-act works, was written around a song composed for Alfred de Musset’s Le chandelier at the Théâtre Français in 1850. A valse des rayons in his 1860 ballet Le papillon, which reappeared in his 1864 opera Die Rheinnixen and in the ballet music of Le Roi Carotte (1872), later achieved its most familiar form when used as an apache dance for a Moulin Rouge revue in 1908. Die Rheinnixen also included a Vaterland Lied composed in Germany in 1848, and was itself the source of the music of the celebrated Barcarolle in Les contes d’Hoffmann.

During his lifetime Offenbach’s success brought a considerable amount of disapproving comment from those who resented the ‘naughtiness’ of the French stage and the lack of pretence at any elevated form of art, or who considered his use of other composers’ music irreverent. Wagner, whom Offenbach parodied in his revue Le carnaval des revues (1860), referred to ‘the warmth of the dung-heap’, though his attitude towards Offenbach later mellowed. The entry in the first edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians typified the attitude of more elevated music circles of the time, concluding that ‘it is melancholy to predict that of all these musical bouffonneries little or nothing will remain; since in order to live, a work must possess either style or passion, whilst these too often display merely a vulgar scepticism, and a determination to be funny even at the cost of propriety and taste’.

His standing was undoubtedly helped by the success in more respectable circles of Les contes d’Hoffmann. The libretto, by Jules Barbier (1825–1901), was based on a play by Barbier and Michel Carré (1819–72) produced in Paris in 1851; it portrayed three stories of the author E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822) as episodes of his love life. Although without the frivolous touches of the operettas, a good deal of their ready melodic appeal was carried over into the opéra comique, and in addition there was some powerful dramatic writing, particularly in the Antonia act (the three central acts are commonly known by the names of the heroines of the three episodes). The fact that the work is not as homogeneous as the best of the operettas may not be altogether Offenbach’s fault. At his death he apparently left the work in a complete piano score, but to meet the requirements of the Opéra-Comique, Guiraud not only completed the orchestration but also added recitatives. In addition it was belatedly decided to omit the Giulietta act with some of its music hastily redistributed. The work was first published in this corrupt version, and over the years it has been subjected to all manner of further variants. In recent years, thanks largely to the conductor and musicologist Antonio de Almeida, much original material has come to light; but there can never be a definitive score of a work that Offenbach never quite completed.

The appeal of individual numbers of Les contes d’Hoffmann and the fantastic nature of the story has kept the work in the international opera repertory. The lack of a recognized international operetta tradition formerly meant that revivals of the operettas were less regular. The best tunes, however, retained their wide popularity, particularly through their use in the score arranged by Manuel Rosenthal for Leonid Massine’s ballet Gaîté parisienne for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in 1938. More recently, the greater attention paid to the classical operetta since World War II has made the best of Offenbach’s operettas familiar again and permitted fuller appreciation of his standing as the supreme master of the genre.

Offenbach, Jacques


all first performed and published in Paris, unless otherwise stated


Bouffes-Parisiens (at Salle Marigny)




Bouffes-Parisiens (at Salle Choiseul)











operettas and opéras comiques

L’alcôve (1, P. Pittaud de Forges, A. de Leuven and E.-G. Roche), Tour d’Auvergne, 24 April 1847

Le trésor à Mathurin (1, L. Battu), Salle Herz, 7 May 1853; rev. as Le mariage aux lanternes (J. Dubois [M. Carré], and Battu), BP, 10 Oct 1857

Pépito (1, J. Moinaux and Battu), V, 28 Oct 1853

Luc et Lucette (1, Pittaud de Forges and Roche), Salle Herz, 2 May 1854

Entrez, messieurs, mesdames (prol, F.-J. Méry and J. Servières [L. Halévy]), BPSM, 5 July 1855

Les deux aveugles (1, Moinaux), BPSM, 5 July 1855

Une nuit blanche (1, E. Plouvier), BPSM, 5 July 1855

Le rêve d’une nuit d’été (1, E. Tréfeu), BPSM, 30 July 1855

Oyayaye, ou La reine des îles (1, Moinaux), Folies-Nouvelles, 7 Aug 1855

Le violoneux (1, E. Mestépès and E. Chevalet), BPSM, 31 Aug 1855

Madame Papillon (1, J. Servières [Halévy]), BPSM, 3 Oct 1855

Paimpol et Périnette (1, Pittaud de Forges), BPSM, 29 Oct 1855

Ba-ta-clan (1, Halévy), BP, 29 Dec 1855

Un postillon en gage (1, J. Adenis), BP, 9 Feb 1856

Trombalcazar, ou Les criminels dramatiques (1, C.D. Dupeuty and E. Bourget), BP, 3 April 1856

La rose de Saint-Flour (1, Carré), BPSM, 12 June 1856

Les dragées du baptême (1, Dupeuty and Bourget), BPSM, 18 June 1856

Le ‘66’ (1, Pittaud de Forges and M. Laurencin [P.A. Chapelle]), BPSM, 31 July 1856

Le financier et le savetier (1, Crémieux and E. About), BP, 23 Sept 1856

La bonne d’enfants (1, E. Bercioux), BP, 14 Oct 1856

Les trois baisers du diable (1, Mestépès), BP, 15 Jan 1857

Croquefer, ou Le dernier des paladins (1, A. Jaime and Tréfeu), 12 Feb 1857

Dragonette (1, Mestépès and Jaime), BP, 30 April 1857

Vent du soir, ou L’horrible festin (1, P. Gille), BP, 16 May 1857

Une demoiselle en lôterie (1, Jaime and Crémieux), BP, 27 July 1857

Les deux pêcheurs (1, Dupeuty and Bourget), BP, 13 Nov 1857

Mesdames de la Halle (1, A. Lapointe), BP, 3 March 1858

La chatte metamorphosée en femme (1, Scribe and Mélesville), BP, 19 April 1858

Orphée aux enfers (2, Crémieux and Halévy), BP, 21 Oct 1858; rev. (4), G, 7 Feb 1874

Le mari à la porte (1, A. Delacour), BP, 22 June 1859

Les vivandières de la grande armée (1, Jaime and Pittaud de Forges), BP, 6 July 1859

Geneviève de Brabant (2, Jaime and Tréfeu), BP, 19 Nov 1859; rev. (3, Crémieux), Menus-Plaisirs, 26 Dec 1867 (5, Crémieux), G, 25 Feb 1875

Le carnaval des revues (1, E. Grangé, Gille and Halévy), BP, 10 Feb 1860

Daphnis et Chloé (1, Clairville [L.F. Nicolaie] and J. Cordier [E.T. de Vaulabelle]), BP, 27 March 1860

Barkouf (3, Scribe and H. Boisseaux), OC, 24 Dec 1860

La chanson de Fortunio (1, Crémieux and Halévy), BP, 5 Jan 1861

Le pont des soupirs (2, Crémieux and Halévy), BP, 23 March 1861; rev. (4), V, 9 May 1868

M. Choufleuri restera chez lui le … (1, Saint-Rémy [Duc de Morny], E. L’Epine, Crémieux and Halévy), Présidence du Corps Législatif, 31 May 1861, BP, 14 Sept 1861

Apothicaire et perruquier (1, E. Frébault), BP, 17 Oct 1861

Le roman comique (3, Crémieux and Halévy), BP, 10 Dec 1861

Monsieur et Madame Denis (1, Laurencin [Chapelle] and M. Delaporte), BP, 11 Jan 1862

Le voyage de MM. Dunanan père et fils (3, P. Siraudin and Moinaux), BP, 22 March 1862

Les bavards [Bavard et bavarde] (2, Nuitter, after Cervantes: Los habladores), Bad Ems, 11 July 1862, Vienna, Kaitheater, 20 Nov 1862, BP, 20 Feb 1863

Jacqueline (1, P. d’Arcy [Crémieux and Halévy]), BP, 14 Oct 1862

Il Signor Fagotto (1, Nuitter and Tréfeu), Bad Ems, 11 July 1863, BP, 13 Jan 1864

Lischen et Fritzchen (1, P. Dubois [P. Boisselot]), Bad Ems, 21 July 1863, BP, 5 Jan 1864

L’amour chanteur (1, Nuitter and E. L’Epine), BP, 5 Jan 1864

Die Rheinnixen (3, A. von Wolzogen, after Nuitter), Vienna, Hofoper, 4 Feb 1864

Les géorgiennes (3, Moinaux), BP, 16 March 1864

Le fifre enchanté, ou Le soldat magicien (1, Nuitter and Tréfeu), Bad Ems, 12 July 1864, BP, 30 Sept 1868

Jeanne qui pleure et Jean qui rit (1, Nuitter and Tréfeu), Bad Ems, 19 July 1864, BP, 3 Nov 1865

La belle Hélène (3, H. Meilhac and Halévy), V, 17 Dec 1864

Coscoletto, ou Le lazzarone (2, Nuitter and Tréfeu), Bad Ems, 11 July 1865

Les refrains des bouffes (1), BP, 21 Sept 1865

Les bergers (3, Crémieux and Gille), BP, 11 Dec 1865

Barbe-bleue (3, Meilhac and Halévy), V, 5 Feb 1866

La vie parisienne (5, later 4, Meilhac and Halévy), PR, 31 Oct 1866

La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (3, Meilhac and Halévy), V, 12 April 1867

La permission de dix heures (1, Mélesville [A.H.J. Duveyrier] and P.F.A. Carmouche), Bad Ems, before 20 July 1867, R, 4 Sept 1873

La leçon de chant (1, E. Bourget), Bad Ems, 20 July 1867, Folies-Marigny, 17 June 1873

Robinson Crusoé (3, E. Cormon and Crémieux, after D. Defoe), OC, 23 Nov 1867

Le château à Toto (3, Meilhac and Halévy), PR, 6 May 1868

L’île de Tulipatan (1, H. Chivot and A. Duru), BP, 30 Sept 1868

La Périchole (2, Meilhac and Halévy), V, 6 Oct 1868, rev. (3), V, 25 April 1874

Vert-vert (3, Meilhac and Nuitter), OC, 10 March 1869

La diva (3, Meilhac and Halévy), BP, 22 March 1869

La princesse de Trébizonde (2, Nuitter and Tréfeu), Baden-Baden, 31 July 1869, rev. (3), BP, 7 Dec 1869

Les brigands (3, Meilhac and Halévy), V, 10 Dec 1869, rev. G, 26 Dec 1878

La romance de la rose (1, Tréfeu and J. Prével), BP, 11 Dec 1869

Boule de neige (3, Nuitter and Tréfeu), BP, 14 Dec 1871; rev. of Barkouf

Le Roi Carotte (4, V. Sardou, after E.T.A. Hoffmann), G, 15 Jan 1872

Fantasio (3, P. de Musset), OC, 18 Jan 1872

Fleurette, oder Näherin und Trompeter (1, J Hopp and F. Zell [C. Walzel], after Pittaud de Forges and M. Laurencin [P.-A. Chapelle]), Vienna, Carltheater, 8 March 1872

Der schwarze Korsar (3, Nuitter, Tréfeu, J. Offenbach and R. Genée), Vienna, An der Wien, 21 Sept 1872

Les braconniers (3, Chivot, Duru), V, 29 Jan 1873

Pomme d’api (1, Halévy and W. Busnach), R, 4 Sept 1873

La jolie parfumeuse (3, Crémieux and E. Blum), R, 29 Nov 1873

Bagatelle (1, Crémieux and Blum), BP, 21 May 1874

Madame l’archiduc (3, Halévy and A. Millaud), BP, 31 Oct 1874

Whittington (3, Nuitter, Tréfeu and H.B. Farnie), London, Alhambra, 26 Dec 1874, Châtelet, 19 Oct 1893

Les hannetons (3, E. Grangé and Millaud), BP, 22 April 1875

La boulangère a des écus (3, Meilhac and Halévy), V, 19 Oct 1875

La créole (3, Millaud and Meilhac), BP, 3 Nov 1875

Le voyage dans la lune (4, Leterrier, Vanloo and A. Mortier), G, 26 Nov 1875

Tarte à la crème (1, Millaud), BP, 14 Dec 1875

Pierrette et Jacquot (1, J. Noriac and Gille), BP, 13 Oct 1876

La boîte au lait (4, Grangé and Noriac), BP, 3 Nov 1876

Le Docteur Ox (3, A. Mortier and Gille, after J. Verne), V, 26 Jan 1877

La Foire Saint-Laurent (3, Crémieux and A. de Saint-Albin), FD, 10 Feb 1877

Maître Péronilla (3, Offenbach, Nuitter and Ferrier), BP, 13 March 1878

Madame Favart (3, Chivot and Duru), FD, 28 Dec 1878

La marocaine (3, Ferrier and Halévy), BP, 13 Jan 1879

La fille du tambour-major (3, Chivot and Duru), FD, 13 Dec 1879

Belle Lurette (3, Blum, E. Blau and R. Toché), R, 30 Oct 1880, completed by Delibes

Les contes d’Hoffmann (5, J. Barbier), OC, 10 Feb 1881, completed by Guiraud

Mam’zelle Moucheron (1, E. Leterrier and A. Vanloo), R, 10 May 1881, rev. Delibes

vaudevilles and incidental music

Pascal et Chambord (1, A. Bourgeois and E. Brisebarre), PR, 2 March 1839

Le brésilien (1, Meilhac and Halévy), PR, 9 May 1863

Le gascon (5, T. Barrière and Poupart-Davyl), G, 2 Sept 1873

La haine (5, Sardou), G, 3 Dec 1874


(selective list)

1 voice, piano, unless otherwise stated; German songs published in Cologne

6 fables de Lafontaine (1842): Le corbeau et le renard, Le rat de ville et le rat des champs, Le savetier et le financier, La laitière et le pot au lait, Le berger et la mer, La cigale et la fourmi

Le langage des fleurs (E. Plouvier) (1846): La branche d’oranger, La rose, Ne m’oubliez pas, La marguerite, L’églantine, La pâquerette

Les voix mystérieuses (1852): L’hiver (A. Barthet), Chanson de Fortunio (A. de Musset), Les saisons (J. Barbier), Ma belle amie est morte (T. Gautier), La rose foulée (C. Poncy), Barcarolle (Gautier)

Lieder und Gesänge (1853): Cathrein was willst du mehr, Mein Lieb’, gleicht dem Bächlein, Leb’ wohl; Was fliesset auf dem Felde

Over 50 singly pubd works, incl.: (1838–46): A toi, romance (N. Armand); Dors mon enfant, mélodie (Armand); Doux ménéstrel, romance (C. Saudeur); J’aime la rêverie, romance (Gay de V.); Jalousie! romance dramatique (A. Gourdin); La croix de ma mère, chansonette (Armand); L’arabe a son coursier, chant (J. Reboul); La sortie du bal, romance (E. Chevalet); L’attente, romance; L’aveu du page, romance (E. Plouvier); Le moine bourru, ou Les deux poltrons, duo bouffe, T, B (Plouvier); Pauvre prisonnier, romance (L. Leube); Le sergent recruteur (Plouvier); Le sylphe, romance (Leube); Meunière et fermière, duo bouffe (Plouvier); Rends-moi mon âme, romance dramatique (Reboul) ; Ronde tyrolienne, pf, ob (C. Catelin); Sarah la blonde, séguidille (Carré); Virginie au départ, romance dramatique (Plouvier)

(1848–73): Bibi Bamban (E. Bourget); Bleib bei mir, Lied (C.O. Sternau); Das deutsche Vaterland (H. Hersch); Der kleine Trommler (L. Pfau), T, male vv; Im grünen Mai (Sternau); Jeanne la rousse (A. Houssaye); La chanson de ceux qui n’aiment plus (Houssaye); Lebe wohl, herzliebster Schatz (Sternau), T, male vv; Le décameron, ou La grotte d’azur (J. Méry); Leidvolle Liebe, T, male vv (Sternau); L’étoile (E. Chevalet); Der deutsche Knabe, (Hersch); Sérénade du torero (Gautier); Si j’étais petit oiseau (Jousselin); Ständchen (Sternau), T, male vv


Arlequin barbier (1, Placet, after Rossini), BPSM, 5 July 1855

Pierrot clown (1, Jackson), BPSM, 30 July 1855

Polichinelle dans le monde (1, W. Busnach), BPSM, 19 Sept 1855

Le papillon (2, M.Taglioni, J.H. Vernoy de Saint-Georges), Opéra, 26 Nov 1860

dance music

(selective list)

all arranged for piano

Décameron dramatique, album du Théâtre Français (1854); Rachel, grande valse; Emilie, polka mazurka; Madeleine, polka villageoise; Delphine, rédowa; Augustine, schottisch; Louise, grande valse; Maria, polka mazurka; Elisa, polka trilby; Nathalie, schottisch du tambourin; Clarisse, varsoviana

6 singly pubd suites of waltzes (1836–8): Brunes et blondes, Les fleurs d’hiver, Les Amazones, Les jeunes filles, Les trois Grâces, Rébecca

Over 10 singly pubd pieces (1844–76), incl.: Abendblätter, Walzer; Herminie, valse; Les belles américaines, suite de valses; Offenbach valse; Polka burlesque


(selective list)

For vc, orch: Prière et Boléro, op.22 (1840); Musette, Air de ballet du 17me siècle, op.24 (1842); Hommage à Rossini, 1843; Concerto militaire, 1847; Concerto rondò, 1851

For vc, pf: Rêveries (1839), collab. F. von Flotow: La harpe éolienne, Scherzo, Polka de salon, Chanson d’autrefois, Les larmes, Rédowa brillante; Chants du soir (1839), collab. Flotow: Au bord de la mer, Souvenir de bal, La prière du soir, La retraite, Ballade du pâtre, Danse norvégienne; Introduction et valse mélancolique, op.14 (1839); Deux âmes au ciel, élégie, op.25 (1844); Chants du crépuscule, op.29 (1846): Souvenir du val, Sérénade, Ballade, Le retour, L’adieu, Pas villageois; Rêverie au bord de la mer (1848); La course en traîneau, étude-caprice (1849)

For vc, other insts: Divertimento über Schweizerlieder, vc, 2 vn, va, db, op.1, 1833; Las campanillas, vc, bells, 1847

For vcs: Fantasy on Robert le diable, 7 vc, 1852; Adagio et scherzo, 4 vc, 1845

For vc solo/vc, pf: fantasies on Anna Bolena, Beatrice di Tenda, Il barbiere di Siviglia, I puritani, Jean de Paris, Joseph, La dame blanche, La sonnambula, Le nozze di Figaro, L’elisir d’amore, Norma, Parisina, Richard Coeur-de-Lion

Pedagogical works: Ecole du violoncelle, 2 vc, opp.19–21, 34 (1839–46); Cours méthodique de duos, 2 vc, opp.49–54 (1847); 20 petites études, vc, db, op.77 (1855); 12 études, vc, db, op.78 (1855)

For fuller list of works see Almeida

Offenbach, Jacques


Grove 1(G. Chouquet)

E. de Mirecourt [C.-J.-B. Jacquot]: Auber, Offenbach (Paris, 1869)

Argus [P. Gille]: Célébrités dramatiques: Jacques Offenbach (Paris, 1872)

J. Offenbach: Offenbach en Amérique, notes d’un musicien en voyage (Paris, 1877; Eng. trans. as Orpheus in America, 1958)

A. Jullien: ‘M. Offenbach, critique: sa profession de foi musicale’, Airs variés (Paris, 1877), 347–58

A. Wolff: ‘Jacques Offenbach’, La gloire à Paris (Paris, 1886)

A. Martinet: Offenbach: sa vie et son oeuvre (Paris, 1887)

C. Bellaigue: Etudes musicales et nouvelles silhouettes de musiciens (Paris, 1898)

P. Bekker: Jacques Offenbach (Berlin, 1909)

L. Schmidt: J. Offenbach (Berlin, 1912)

R. Northcott: Jacques Offenbach: a Sketch of his Life and a Record of his Operas (London, 1917)

E. Rieger: Offenbach und seine Wiener Schule (Vienna, 1920)

L. Schneider: Offenbach (Paris, 1923)

K. Soldan, ed.: Jacques Offenbach: Beiträge zu seinem Leben und seinen Werken (Berlin, 1924)

R. Brancour: Offenbach (Paris, 1929)

A. Henseler: Der Aufstieg des Kölners Jacques Offenbach: ein Musikerleben in Bildern (Berlin, 1931)

S. Kracauer: Jacques Offenbach und das Paris seiner Zeit (Amsterdam, 1937/R; Eng. trans., 1937)

J. Brindejont-Offenbach: Offenbach, mon grand-père (Paris, 1940)

Le siècle d’Offenbach (Paris, 1958)

A. Decaux: Offenbach, roi du Second Empire (Paris, 1958, 3/1975)

G. Hughes: Composers of Operetta (London, 1962)

I.I. Sollertinsky: Offenbach (Moscow, 1962)

O. Schneidereit: Jacques Offenbach (Leipzig, 1966, 2/1970)

P.W. Jacob: Jacques Offenbach in selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten (Hamburg, 1969, 2/1980)

A. Lamb: ‘How Offenbach Conquered London’, Opera, xx (1969), 932–8

R.L. Folstein: ‘A Bibliography on Jacques Offenbach’, CMc, xii (1971), 116–28

R. Pourvoyeur: ‘Verne et Offenbach’, Bulletin de la Société Jules Verne, no.20 (1971), 87; no.21 (1972), 112

F. Mailer: ‘Jacques Offenbach – ein Pariser in Wien’ , ÖMz, xxvii (1972), 246–62

R. Pourvoyeur: Jacques Offenbach: Essay in Toengepaste Muziek- en Toneelsociologie (Brussels, 1977; rev. as Offenbach: Idillio e parodia, 1980)

O. Schneidereit: Tödlicher Cancan (Leipzig, 1978)

G. Hauger: ‘Offenbach in English: a Checklist’, Theatre Notebook, xxxiv (1979–80), 9–14; xxxv (1980–81), 87–8; xxxvi (1981–2), 34; xxxvii (1982–3), 31–2

A. Faris: Jacques Offenbach (London, 1980)

P. Gammond: Offenbach: his Life and Times (Tunbridge Wells, 1980, 2/1981)

J. Harding: Jacques Offenbach: a Biography (London, 1980)

A. Lamb, G. Hauger and H. Macdonald: ‘Jacques Offenbach, 1819–1880’, MT, cxxi (1980), 615–21

H.-K. Metzger and R. Riehn, eds.: Jacques Offenbach (Munich, 1980)

K. Pahlen, ed.: Hoffmanns Erzählungen (Munich, 1980, 2/1982)

D. Rissin: Offenbach, ou Le rire en musique (Paris, 1980)

Offenbach 1819–1880: a Tribute (London, 1980)

F. Oeser: Jacques Offenbach: Hoffmanns Erzählungen: Quellenkritische Neuausgabe: Vorlagenbericht (Kassel, 1981)

W. Kirsch and R. Dietrich, eds.: Jacques Offenbach: Komponist und Weltbürger (Mainz, 1985)

G. Brandstetter, ed.: Jacques Offenbachs Hoffmanns Erzählungen (Laaber, 1988)

A. Lamb: ‘Tales of a Monte Carlo Hoffmann’, Opera, xlii (1991), 634–7

P. Goninet, ed.: Jacques Offenbach: lettres à Henri Meilhac et Ludovic Halévy (Paris, 1994)

R. Pourvoyet: Offenbach (Paris, 1994)

J.-C. Yon and L. Fraison: Offenbach (Paris, 1994) [exhibition catalogue]

A. Lamb: An Offenbach Family Album (Croydon, 1997)

J. Kaufman: Isaac Offenbach und sein Sohn Jacques (Tübingen, 1998)

R. Franke, ed.: Offenbach und die Schauplätze seines Musiktheaters (Laaber, 1999)

A. de Almeida: Jacques Offenbach: a Thematic Catalogue of his Works (Oxford, forthcoming)
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