The German Romantic author of horror and fantasy published stories which form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffmann, the ballet Coppélia and the Nutcracker. In the theatre he worked as a stagehand, decorator, playwright and manager and he wrote his own musical works. His opera Undine ended its run at the Berlin Theatre after a fire.
During his lifetime he also saw Warsaw and Berlin occupied by Napoleon and during the Prussian war against France, he wrote an account of his visit to the battlefields and he became entangled in various legal disputes towards the end of his life. Anne McElvoy marks 200 years since his death gathering together literary and musical scholars to look at his legacy.
Joanna Neilly is Associate Professor and Fellow and Tutor in German at the University of Oxford.
Keith Chapin is senior lecturer in music at Cardiff University.
Tom Smith is a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker. He is Senior Lecturer and Head of German at the University of St Andrews.
You can find details about performances of Offenbach's works on the website of the society http://offenbachsociety.org.uk/
Producer: Tim Bano
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