|Jacques Offenbach (20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880), composer and cellist, was one of the originators of the operetta form, a precursor of the modern musical comedy. He was one of the most influential composers of popular music in Europe in the 19th century, and many of his works remain in the repertory.
His most popular works are still performed regularly today. His best-known operettas in the English-speaking world are Orpheus in the Underworld, La vie parisienne, La belle Hélène, La Périchole, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein. Gaîté Parisienne is an often heard ballet score which is a pastiche of Offenbach melodies arranged and garishly orchestrated by Manuel Rosenthal in 1938.
Offenbach's final opera, The Tales of Hoffmann, was more serious than his other works, perhaps reflecting the eternal wish of the clown to be taken seriously. It was still unfinished at his death in 1880, but was completed by his friend Ernest Guiraud and premiered in 1881.
Offenbach is buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris, France.