Station Blog

June 20 composer birthday: Can-Can man, Jacques Offenbach!

June 20 composer birthday: Can-Can man, Jacques Offenbach! featured image

The Can-Can, which was *very* risque, back in the day …

“Orpheus in the Underworld” is a comic operetta (“operetta” is like “opera lite” – in both subject matter and the music itself) that premiered in 1858 and is considered the first full-length operetta, since France didn’t allow full-length works of certain genres, for some bizarre reason. “Orpheus” is a scathing parody of Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” and was considered shocking at the time. The operetta played in New York on Broadway, and in a few countries in Europe. Its popularity spread, and “Orpheus” continues to be presented by opera houses to this day, including a controversial run in late 1993 by The Toronto Operetta Theatre depicting heaven as Club Med, and hell as a leather bar. Ooh la la!

What many refer to as the “can-can” music is the “Infernal Galop” from Act 2, Scene 2. The most recent commercial use of this music is a television campaign for a Canadian coffee chain replete with lyrics explaining how the beans were selected, shipped to Canada, and subject to strict taste tests. There’s choreography in the commercial too, but no Can-Can.

Kick up your heels for the Can-Can dance in the style of the old Moulin Rouge!

Jacques Offenbach was born June 20, 1819 in Cologne, Germany, and died October 5, 1880, in Paris, France.

Listen on the Go

Download Apps
Download Apps
Download Apps
Request
Karley
Anti Noise Pollution
Film Reviews with Marc Glassman
Request
Sister Station - Zoomer Radio

Recently Played