Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Offenbach's Rheinnixen

The enterprising New Sussex Opera are giving the UK premiere of Offenbach's opera Die Rheinnixen. This was a grand, romantic opera which Offenbach wrote for Vienna. After the premiere in 1864, when it was performed in truncated form, Offenbach withdrew it and re-used some of the music in The Tales of Hoffmann. The opera received its premiere in its original form in 2002. Besides being his first grand opera, the piece is his only operatic setting of a German text. It sounds quite a big piece, with well over 3 hours of music and Offenbach seems to occupy the musical realms of Weber.

It is an important pre-cursor to Hoffmann and we must be grateful to conductor Nicholas Jenkins for giving us the opportunity to hear it. There are performances at Lewes town hall on 21st October, Eastbourne Winter Gardens on 25th October and Cadogan Hall, London, on 27th October.

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