The Odyssey of Offenbach
On the occasion of the bicentenary of Offenbach, a dramatised documentary retraces his exceptional career.
© François Séjourné
The melodies of Offenbach are among the most famous in the history of music but his repertoire and life story remain obscure to many people. Born in Cologne in 1819, the German Jewish teenager came to live in Paris at the age of fourteen and developed into "the most Parisian of composers".
Initiated and produced by ARTE France, this dramatised documentary retraces his exceptional career which left a deep impression on the theatrical and operatic life of the 19th century.
Filmed in beautiful locations in Paris as the Opéra Comique, Théâtre du Palais Royal many dramatized sequences relate and re-enact episodes from his life.
This docudrama combines talents of singers as soprano Stéphanie d'Oustrac and actors as Michel Fau and amazing newcomer Robert Hatisi as Jacques Offenbach.
It includes several interviews with stage directors Robert Carsen and Laurent Pelly, conductor Mark Minkowski, biographers and musicologists.
And to evoke the most popular titles, the film uses of extracts from existing live recordings from Orpheus in the Underworld, La Vie Parisienne, La Périchole, The Tales of Hoffman.
Written by Jean-Claude Yon and François Roussillon
Directed by François Roussillon and Mariame Clément
A coproduction between Arte France and François Roussillon & Associés
With the participation of the Opéra Comique
Screener available on September 2019
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