If there is a city with which Jacques Offenbach is connected, it is Paris. But the artist is actually from Cologne and his name was Jakob. He was born as the son of Jewish parents on 20 June 1819 in the cathedral city. It soon turned out that he was an outstanding cellist. But it was only in his adopted home of Paris, where he died in 1880 (the year the cathedral was completed in Cologne, by the way), that he developed his full potential.
In the year of the world exhibition 1855 he opened his own theater there - the Bouffes-Parisiens. "Orpheus in the Underworld" - who doesn't know the rousing sounds of the world-famous "Cancan"? - was premiered in the same year. His other works such as "Die schöne Helena", "Die Großherzogin von Gerolstein" or "Hoffmanns Erzählungen" were well known and successful beyond the borders to Africa, Asia and even America.
His music is witty and charming and touches us as much today as it did 200 years ago.
In 2019 there will be an excellent opportunity to celebrate Jacques Offenbach in Cologne and beyond. It is time for a voyage of discovery into his life.
20 June 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the composer's birthday. The specially founded Cologne Offenbach Society, together with the City of Cologne, the WDR, and numerous supporters from politics, business, the media, the church, and culture, established an Offenbach Year into the city society.
Many events in the fields of music, theatre, dance, art and literature, with which the famous composer is duly celebrated, are bundled. In addition to his world-famous works, unknown musical treasures are also performed.
The highlight will be the Cologne Offenbach Festival to celebrate the artist's birthday on 20 June 2019. In addition to opera performances, theatre premieres, large and small concerts and musical picnics, many entertaining and unusual events under the motto "Yes, we can can" will attract visitors to Cologne and the region. The Cologne Opera has three of his great operas on its repertoire this year and many theatres are showing Offenbach's lesser known works and his one-act plays.
Further information: www.yeswecancan.koeln