Jacques Offenbach and Mozart

By May 10, 2010Music

By the time Jacques Offenbach was dying in 1877 he began to write something that turned out to be his life’s greatest achievement: The Tales of Hoffmann. This was his last piece of work, but his only true opera. The Tales of Hoffmann was not feathered like his previous works; it was rich in betrayal, murder, insanity, seduction. So Jacques knew this was going to be a successful performance. He said, “I have not much time left and my only wish is to see the first performance.”

In 1880 the performance happened.  But the orchestration was incomplete and the audience was unfulfilled. When he died later that year, the opera was much more of a success.

Now compare this piece of work to Mozart’s work. There are very similar traits hidden between the lines of these artists, but at the same time their taste in art was very much different. Mozart wasn’t scared to show who the monster was in his operas. If there was little love within the characters, that was okay. Because he made sure that the primary character drew all their power together.

What do you think was Mozart’s strongest point in his operas compared to other artists?

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