The life and work of the composer who more than any other created the genre of operetta - he wrote over 100 of them! (This talk is also in the composers section)
We look at the origins of operetta in 19th century Paris, and how Offenbach and his contemporaries made it into the most popular form of musical entertainment of the century.
Offenbach may have been the King of Operetta, but his crown was not undisputed. Many other composers fought for the title. The music may be light, but the rivalry could be deadly serious! We learn about the rivalry and intrigue in the musical world of 19th century Paris, and take the story on to the decline of operetta in the 20th century.
The French may have invented operetta as a light and frothy entertainment, but it was the Viennese who brought real romance and glamour to the operetta stage to challenge the French at their own game. We look at the rise of Viennese operetta in the 1860s, through to its final flourishing in the 1930s, with many lovely examples of music from both Golden and Silver ages of Viennese Operetta.
We hear the stories and the music of two of the best loved operettas of all time - Johann Strauss's 'Die Fledermaus' and Franz Lehar's 'The Merry Widow'.
Franz Lehar was the one of the last and greatest composers of operetta in Vienna's "Silver" age, his last stage work being completed in 1934. He wrote hardly anything but operetta, and transformed the genre with his romantic tales of love won and lost - many of his shows have sad endings, and were written to showcase one star in particular - Richard Tauber. We will hear excerpts from many of Lehar's works, including the voice of Tauber himself. (This talk is also in the composers section)