Jacques Offenbach (20 June 1819 - 5 October 1880), composer and cellist, was one of the originators of the operetta form, a precursor of the modern musical comedy. He was one of the most influential composers of popular music in Europe in the 19th century, and many of his works remain in the repertory. Offenbach was born in Cologne, Germany and was the son of Isaac Juda Eberst, a cantor, bookbinder, music teacher and composer. His father was living at a time when the Napoleonic edict required that Jews had to take inheritable family names.


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