JACQUES OFFENBACH was a German-born French composer, remembered for nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss II and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged. The Tales of Hoffman remains part of the standard opera repertory. Offenbach’s first full-length operetta, Orphée aux enfers (“Orpheus in the Underworld”) culminates in the risqué Galop Infernal (“Infernal Galop”), famous outside classical circles as the music for the can-can
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