Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880)

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01The Mozart of the Champs-Elys\u00e9es20190617

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the maestro of the Cancan and much more besides, Jacques Offenbach. Today, on the brink of defeat he launches his own theatre company.

In May 1854, Offenbach wrote despairingly to his sister Ranetta; the “golden future” he had dreamt of hadn’t materialised, and come September he’d be off to America, without his family, to seek his fortune there. Offenbach did indeed make the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, but that wouldn’t be for another 20 years or so. For now, he decided to stay put and tough it out in his adopted home city of Paris, where his father had deposited him, with his elder brother Julius, 20 years earlier, in the hope that there they would receive a better musical education than was on offer in their native Cologne. It was a good decision; eight months after he wrote that letter to his sister, Offenbach put in an application to the Minister of State for the Fine Arts to open his own theatre, for the presentation of musical shows; the entertainment was to be known as ‘Les Bouffes-Parisiens’. The venue was a tiny wooden shack on the Champs-Elysées that had recently been vacated by its previous owner, a magician called Lacaze. With the backing of a wealthy newspaper-owning friend – the founder of Le Figaro, no less – Offenbach had the ‘Salle Lacaze’, which became known as ‘the ladder’, on account of the steep rake of the seats, refurbished and open for business again in July 1855. This was just in time to capitalise on its fortunate proximity to the site of the Exposition Universelle, modelled on – and intended to surpass – the Great Exhibition which had been held in London four years earlier. The Bouffes was an instant and enduring success; over the next quarter-century, more than 50 of Offenbach’s musical comedies were to début there, including the opening-night smash Les deux aveugles, a one-acter about a couple of con-men vying for the best spot on a bridge over the Seine, and Orphée aux enfers, Orpheus in the Underworld, a runaway success in 1858, whose “profanation of holy and glorious antiquity” was held by one critic at the time to herald the end of civilisation as it was then known.

Orphée aux enfers (Act 2 tableau 4, ‘Ce bal est original’)
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, tenor (Pluton)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Jupiter)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Venus)
Natalie Dessay, soprano (Eurydice)
Chorus and orchestra of Lyon Opera
Mark Minkowski, conductor

Les deux aveugles (Overture)
The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Neville Marriner, conductor

Le financier et le savetier (scene 8, extract: “J’ai-z-un million!”)
Eric Huchet, tenor (Larfaillou)
Frédéric Bialecki, baritone (premier invité)
Franck Thézan, tenor (Belazor)
Orchestre Pasdeloup
Jean-Christophe Keck, conductor

Orphée aux enfers (Act 1 tableau 2, opening: Entr’acte et choeur du sommeil – Les heures – “Par Saturne! Quell est ce bruit!”)
Patricia Petibon, soprano (Cupidon)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Vénus)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Jupiter)
Jennifer Smith, soprano (Diane)
Chorus and orchestra of Lyon Opera
Mark Minkowski, conductor

Orphée aux enfers (Act 1 tableau 2, conclusion: “Il approche! Il s’avance!” – “Gloire! gloire à Jupiter”)
Lydie Pruvot, soprano (Junon)
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, tenor (Pluton)
Yann Beuron, tenor (Orphée)
Ewa Podleś, mezzo soprano (L'Opinion Publique)
Jennifer Smith, soprano (Diane)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Jupiter)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Vénus)
Patricia Petibon, soprano (Cupidon)
Etienne Lescroart, tenor (Mercure)
Virginie Pochon, soprano (Minerve)
Chorus and orchestra of Lyon Opera
Mark Minkowski, conductor

Le Carnaval des revues (Symphonie de l'avenir – March des fiancés)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Le compositeur de l’avenir)
Marc Minkowski, conductor

Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui le … (No 6, Trio Italien)
Mady Mesplé, soprano (Ernestine)
Emmy Greger, mezzo soprano (Mme Balandard)
Michel Hamel, tenor (Balandard)
Michel Trempont, baritone (Petermann)
Charles Burles, tenor (Chrysodule Babylas)
Jean-Philippe Lafont, baritone (Monsieur Choufleuri)
Ensemble Choral Jean Laforge
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
Manuel Rosenthal, conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

The life and music of Jacques Offenbach. Today, he launches his own theatre company.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

01The Mozart Of The Champs-elys\u00e9es20190617

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the maestro of the Cancan and much more besides, Jacques Offenbach. Today, on the brink of defeat he launches his own theatre company.

In May 1854, Offenbach wrote despairingly to his sister Ranetta; the “golden future” he had dreamt of hadn’t materialised, and come September he’d be off to America, without his family, to seek his fortune there. Offenbach did indeed make the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, but that wouldn’t be for another 20 years or so. For now, he decided to stay put and tough it out in his adopted home city of Paris, where his father had deposited him, with his elder brother Julius, 20 years earlier, in the hope that there they would receive a better musical education than was on offer in their native Cologne. It was a good decision; eight months after he wrote that letter to his sister, Offenbach put in an application to the Minister of State for the Fine Arts to open his own theatre, for the presentation of musical shows; the entertainment was to be known as ‘Les Bouffes-Parisiens’. The venue was a tiny wooden shack on the Champs-Elysées that had recently been vacated by its previous owner, a magician called Lacaze. With the backing of a wealthy newspaper-owning friend – the founder of Le Figaro, no less – Offenbach had the ‘Salle Lacaze’, which became known as ‘the ladder’, on account of the steep rake of the seats, refurbished and open for business again in July 1855. This was just in time to capitalise on its fortunate proximity to the site of the Exposition Universelle, modelled on – and intended to surpass – the Great Exhibition which had been held in London four years earlier. The Bouffes was an instant and enduring success; over the next quarter-century, more than 50 of Offenbach’s musical comedies were to début there, including the opening-night smash Les deux aveugles, a one-acter about a couple of con-men vying for the best spot on a bridge over the Seine, and Orphée aux enfers, Orpheus in the Underworld, a runaway success in 1858, whose “profanation of holy and glorious antiquity” was held by one critic at the time to herald the end of civilisation as it was then known.

Orphée aux enfers (Act 2 tableau 4, ‘Ce bal est original’)
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, tenor (Pluton)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Jupiter)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Venus)
Natalie Dessay, soprano (Eurydice)
Chorus and orchestra of Lyon Opera
Mark Minkowski, conductor

Les deux aveugles (Overture)
The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Neville Marriner, conductor

Le financier et le savetier (scene 8, extract: “J’ai-z-un million!”)
Eric Huchet, tenor (Larfaillou)
Frédéric Bialecki, baritone (premier invité)
Franck Thézan, tenor (Belazor)
Orchestre Pasdeloup
Jean-Christophe Keck, conductor

Orphée aux enfers (Act 1 tableau 2, opening: Entr’acte et choeur du sommeil – Les heures – “Par Saturne! Quell est ce bruit!”)
Patricia Petibon, soprano (Cupidon)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Vénus)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Jupiter)
Jennifer Smith, soprano (Diane)
Chorus and orchestra of Lyon Opera
Mark Minkowski, conductor

Orphée aux enfers (Act 1 tableau 2, conclusion: “Il approche! Il s’avance!” – “Gloire! gloire à Jupiter”)
Lydie Pruvot, soprano (Junon)
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, tenor (Pluton)
Yann Beuron, tenor (Orphée)
Ewa Podleś, mezzo soprano (L'Opinion Publique)
Jennifer Smith, soprano (Diane)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Jupiter)
Véronique Gens, soprano (Vénus)
Patricia Petibon, soprano (Cupidon)
Etienne Lescroart, tenor (Mercure)
Virginie Pochon, soprano (Minerve)
Chorus and orchestra of Lyon Opera
Mark Minkowski, conductor

Le Carnaval des revues (Symphonie de l'avenir – March des fiancés)
Laurent Naouri, bass baritone (Le compositeur de l’avenir)
Marc Minkowski, conductor

Monsieur Choufleuri restera chez lui le … (No 6, Trio Italien)
Mady Mesplé, soprano (Ernestine)
Emmy Greger, mezzo soprano (Mme Balandard)
Michel Hamel, tenor (Balandard)
Michel Trempont, baritone (Petermann)
Charles Burles, tenor (Chrysodule Babylas)
Jean-Philippe Lafont, baritone (Monsieur Choufleuri)
Ensemble Choral Jean Laforge
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
Manuel Rosenthal, conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

The life and music of Jacques Offenbach. Today, he launches his own theatre company.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Offenbach The Man - Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) - Song Prize Highlights, Programme 1 - Bbc Cardiff Singer Of The World20190618

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the maestro of the Cancan and much more besides, Jacques Offenbach. Today, an insight into the character of this driven creative artist.

“Offenbach once wrote that he had “one terrible, unconquerable vice: I cannot stop working. I regret this”, he went on, “for the sake of those who do not like my music, for I shall certainly die with a melody on the tip of my pen.” He had a point; at the peak of his career, he might have as many as three operettas on stage simultaneously in different theatres around Paris, let alone international productions. He even had his carriage kitted out with a writing desk, so that he could continue composing, scoring or revising as he travelled between venues. He can’t have been an easy man to live with, and whatever benefits his wife Herminie enjoyed from their 36-year partnership, marital constancy was not one of them; he had a string of mistresses throughout their marriage. A brilliant entrepreneur, he was also recklessly extravagant, making a fortune then blowing it on a series of spectacularly overdone productions. Despite his success, he longed to be taken seriously by the musical establishment – an insecurity that dogged him to the end.

Rodolphe Zimmer
Valse de Zimmer (Dernier Souvenir)
Simon Lepper, piano

Boléro (from Grande scène espagnole, Op 22)
Camille Thomas, cello
Orchestre National de Lille
Alexandre Bloch, conductor

Lischen et Fritzchen (Act 1, Duo des alsaciens – ‘Je suis Alsacienne’)
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano (Lischen)
Laurent Naouri, bass (Fritzchen)
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski, conductor

Orphée aux enfers (1874 version) (Act 3, extract: No 20, Septuor du Tribunal, ‘Minos, Eaque et Rhadamante’; Dialogue, ‘La séance est ouverte!’; Mélodrame, ‘Ah! Mon bras!’ – No 21, Ronde des policemen, ‘Nez au vent, oeil au guet’ – No 21 Récit et couplets des baisers, ‘Allons, mes fins limiers, visitez et fouillez!’)
Jean-Claude Bonnafous, tenor (Minos)
Roger Trentin, tenor (Eache)
Henry Amiel, baritone (Rhadamanta)
Jean Bussard, spoken role (The Bailiff)
Charles Burles, tenor (Pluto)
André Valdeneige, barked role (Cerberus)
Michel Trempont, baritone (Jupiter)
Jane Berbié, mezzo soprano (Cupid)
Jacqueline Vallière, spoken role (A policeman)
Orchestre et Choeurs du Capitole de Toulouse
Michel Plasson conductor

Le papillon (Act 2 scene 2, Pas de deux)
London Symphony Orchestra (John Georgiadis, solo violin)
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Boule de neige (‘L'Hospodar nous invite a luncher avec lui, lunchons!’)
Elizabeth Vidal, soprano (Olga)
Diana Montague, mezzo soprano (Schamyl)
Alexandra Sherman, mezzo soprano (Grégorine)
Mark Wilde, tenor (Polkakoff)
Loïc Félix, tenor (Kassnoiseff)
Mark Stone, baritone (Balabrelock)
André Cognet, baritone (Potapotinski/Grand Khan)
Alastair Miles, bass (Krapack)
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry, conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

The life and music of Jacques Offenbach. Today, an insight into the composer's character.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Iain Burnside and Rebecca Evans with highlights from BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019

International classical singers compete in the world-renowned singing contest.

03The A-team - Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) - Song Prize Highlights, Programme 2 - Bbc Cardiff Singer Of The World20190619

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the maestro of the cancan and much more besides, Jacques Offenbach. Today, with A-team librettists Meilhac and Halévy, he’s on a roll.

According to legend, Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy met on the steps of the Théâtre de la Variété in Paris sometime during the course of 1860. Halévy had been commissioned to write a comedy for the Variété and his partner had just quit on him. He was desperate, the chemistry with Meilhac felt right, and he offered his new best friend the job on the spot. Several librettos later, in 1862, came the opportunity for the duo to work with the already hugely successful Offenbach on an operetta called La baguette, of which no performance is recorded – perhaps it turned out to be half-baked. Le brésilien followed the year after, then in 1864 came La belle Hélène, the new triumvirate’s first gold-plated hit. After which were Barbe-bleue, La vie parisienne, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Le château à Toto, La Périchole, Vert-vert, La diva, Les brigands and, in 1875, La boulangère à des écus – at which point it became clear that the collaboration had effectively run out of steam. As Halévy noted in his diary, “Offenbach, Meilhac and myself, we couldn’t do it anymore. We are no longer twenty or even forty. Daring and fantasy go together with youth. We no longer have the boldness of inexperience.” That said, 1875 was also the year in which the curtain rose on a new operatic alliance, between Meilhac, Halévy and a struggling young composer called Georges Bizet. The opera in question? Carmen.

Barbe-bleue (Act 1, Couplets de Boulotte: “Y’a des bergers dans le village”)
Lina Dachary, soprano (Boulotte)
Orchestre Lyrique de l'O.R.T.F.
Jean Doussard, conductor

La belle Hélène (Act 2 No 15, Duo – “C’est le ciel que m’envoie”)
Jessye Norman, soprano (Helen)
John Aler, tenor (Paris)
Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Michel Plasson, conductor

La vie Parisienne (Act 3, finale: ‘Soupons, soupons, c’est le moment’)
Luis Masson (Le Baron)
Éliane Lublin (Pauline)
Jean-Christophe Benoit (Prosper)
Danièle Castaings (Clara)
Michel Trempont (Bobinet)
Françoise Gayral (Léonie)
Michel Jarry (Urbain)
Mady Mesplé (Gabrielle)
Marie-Thérèse Téchene (Louise)
Orchestre et Choeurs du Capitole de Toulouse
Michel Plasson, conductor

La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Act I, finale)
Felicity Lott (La Grand Duchesse)
Eric Huchet (Le Prince Paul)
François Le Roux (Le Général Boum)
Franck Leguérinel (Le Baron Puck)
Sandrine Piau (Wanda)
Yann Beuron (Fritz)
Maryline Fallot, Blandine Staskiewicz, Jennifer Tani, Aurélia Legay (Demoiselles d’honneur)
Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski, conductor

La Périchole (Act 1 No 7, The letter – “O mon cher amant, je te jure”)
Teresa Bergana, mezzo soprano (La Périchole)
Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Michel Plasson, conductor

La Perichole (Act 3 scene 2, no 21 – Entr’acte, chorus of soldiers and waltz-arietta of the three cousins)
Bernd Könnes, tenor (Panatella)
Marcus Günzel, baritone (Don Pedro)
Jessica Glatte, soprano (Guadalena)
Elke Kottmair, soprano (Berginella)
Tanjo Höft, mezzo soprano (Mastrilla)
Chor der Staatsoperette Dresden
Orchester der Staatsoperette Dresden
Ernst Theis, conductor

La boulangerie à des écus (‘Ce qu’ j’ai?’)
Cassandre Berthon, soprano (Toinon)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry, conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

The life and music of Jacques Offenbach. Today, he and his top librettists are on a roll.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Iain Burnside and Rebecca Evans with highlights from BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019

International classical singers compete in the world-renowned singing contest.

04Orpheus In The Usa - Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) - Song Prize Highlights, Programme 3 - Bbc Cardiff Singer Of The World20190620

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the maestro of the Cancan and much more besides, Jacques Offenbach. Today, a mysterious stranger makes him an offer he cannot refuse.

In 1874, Offenbach’s finances hit the buffers after he mounted a spectacularly inflated, four-act version of Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the underworld), a monumentally overblown staging of Victorien Sardou’s prose tragedy La Haine (Hatred), and then – the icing on the cake – a silicon-enhanced version of his own operetta, Geneviève de Brabant; all coming on top of his recent takeover and lavish, no-expense-spared refurbishment of Paris’s Théâtre de la Gaité. So when a Latin-American impresario called Lino Bacquero turned up at Offenbach’s summer retreat on the terrace at Saint-Germain-en-Laye the following year, offering him $30,000 payable in advance to conduct a series of 30 concerts in the United States to celebrate the centenary of American Independence in 1876, it must have seemed to the beleaguered composer like manna from heaven. After a shaky start, the tour, which took in New York, Philadelphia and a town he referred to only as “X” – perhaps because, in his words, the orchestra there was “execrable” – was a definite hit. On his return to France, Offenbach wrote an entertaining book about his experiences Stateside, documenting such things as the musical highs and lows, the culinary scene, and his observations on American life in general. He was particularly fascinated by American women, who, he said, were “handsome in a proportion wholly unknown in Paris. Out of every hundred that you meet, there are ninety who are ravishing.”

Vert-Vert (overture)
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Neeme Järvi, conductor

American Eagle Waltz
Philip Collins, trumpet
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Erich Kunzel, conductor

La vie Parisienne (Act 2, beginning)
André Batisse, tenor (Alphonse)
Jean-Christophe Benoit, baritone (Frick)
Mady Mesplé, soprano (Gabrielle)
Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Michel Plasson, conductor

Les belles Américaines
Marco Sollini, piano

La Belle Hélène (Act 2, No 11: Invocation à Vénus, ‘On me nomme Hélène le blond’)
Felicity Lott, soprano (Hélène)
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski, conductor

La jolie parfumeuse (Act 1, ‘Je peins, je crayonne’)
Loïc Félix, tenor (Poirot)
Elizabeth Vidal, soprano (Rose)
Alexandra Sherman, mezzo soprano (Bavolet)
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry, conductor

La jolie parfumeuse (Act 2, ‘Pardieu!’)
Mark Stone, baritone (Germain)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry, conductor

La jolie parfumeuse (Act 2, ‘Air de Polacca’)
Laura Claycomb, soprano (Clorinde)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry, conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

The life and music of Jacques Offenbach. Today, he receives an offer he cannot refuse.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Iain Burnside and Rebecca Evans with highlights from BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019

International classical singers compete in the world-renowned singing contest.

05Tales Of Hoffmann20190621

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the maestro of the Cancan and much more besides, Jacques Offenbach. Today, the opera he left unfinished on his death.

From the late 1850s Offenbach suffered from gout. At first he mistook it for rheumatism, returning year after year to the Rhineland spa town of Bad Ems for completely ineffective water cures. By 1877, when he started work on The Tales of Hoffmann, his condition had become seriously debilitating. Increasingly he suspected that the opera would be his swansong, so it became enormously important to him. Above all, he didn’t just want to be remembered as the composer of frothy operettas; Hoffmann would elevate and secure his reputation in the eyes of posterity. For that reason, he took far more trouble over it than over anything else he had ever written. The composer who had once churned out a fully scored one-act operetta in eight days for a bet was now inching forward painstakingly with his new score, making sure that everything was just so. By the time it went into rehearsal, he had completed most of the vocal score and begun the orchestration. All he wanted was to survive to see the opening night. Sadly, that was not to be. He died – of heart failure brought on by severe gout – in October 1880, four months before his musical last will and testament finally made it to the stage, albeit in a severely compromised form. Even if Offenbach had lived to complete The Tales of Hoffmann, he would undoubtedly have fine-tuned it – perhaps even substantially revised it – after the first run of performances, as was his habit. So there can be no definitive version of the opera. But even in the various provisional forms in which it has been presented over the years, Hoffmann’s distinctive fusion of emotional depth and musical brilliance have ensured it a place at the heart of the operatic canon. Had its composer survived, who knows what might have come next.

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Prologue, extract)
Choeur de la Radio Suisse Romande
Choeur Pro Arte de Lausanne
Choeur Du Brassus
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Prologue, extract: “Allons, allons mes enfants! Préparez cette sale” – “Eh! Luther! Ma grosse tonne” – “Il était une fois à la cour d’Eisenach” – “Peuh! Cette bière est détestable!” – “Et par où votre diablerie”)
Roland Jacques, bass (Luther)
Pedro di Proenza, tenor (Nathanaël)
Placido Domingo, tenor (Hoffmann)
Huguette Tourangeau, mezzo soprano (Nicklausse)
Gabriel Bacquier, baritone (Lindorf)
Paul Guigue (Hermann)
Choeur de la Radio Suisse Romande
Choeur Pro Arte de Lausanne
Choeur Du Brassus
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Act 1, extract: ‘Les oiseaux dans la charmille’)
Joan Sutherland, soprano (Olympia)
Jacques Charon (Spalanzani)
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Act 2, extract: “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”)
Huguette Tourangeau, mezzo soprano (Nicklausse)
Joan Sutherland, soprano (Giulietta)
Placido Domingo, tenor (Hoffmann)
André Neury, bass (Schlemil)
Choeur de la Radio Suisse Romande
Choeur Pro Arte de Lausanne
Choeur Du Brassus
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Act 3, extract: “Tu ne chanteras plus … sais-tu quel sacrifice” – “Mon enfant! Ma fille! Antonia!”)
Gabriel Bacquier, baritone (Dr Miracle)
Joan Sutherland, soprano (Antonia)
Margarita Lilowa, mezzo soprano (The Voice)
Paul Plishka, baritone (Crespel)
Placido Domingo, tenor (Hoffmann)
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Les contes d’Hoffmann (Epilogue, extract: “Adieu! Je ne veux pas tesuivre” – “Jusqu’au matin remplis, remplis, mon verre!”)
Placido Domingo, tenor (Hoffmann)
Huguette Tourangeau, mezzo soprano (Niklausse, La Muse)
Gabriel Bacquier, baritone (Lindorf)
Joan Sutherland, soprano (Stella)
Choeur de la Radio Suisse Romande
Choeur Pro Arte de Lausanne
Choeur Du Brassus
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Richard Bonynge, conductor

Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales.

The life and music of Jacques Offenbach. Today, the opera he left unfinished on his death.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.