Home: Operetta: Late Century

Offenbach was followed by Charles Lecocq. He kept alive the spirit of Offenbach in the French operetta, adapting it to the more sober style of light opera prevalent after the Franco-German war. Lecocq was followed by Andre Messager and Reynaldo Hahn, two composers credited for launching an evolution in the operetta form into what would later be called musical comedy.

But even by the early twentieth century, the operetta form had begun to lose its mainstream appeal in France. The initiative passed elsewhere. Dance Halls and Cabarets were the latest rage.

In their day, French operetta composers had some brief moments of glory amid the inevitable disappointments that are the lot of anyone who writes for the theatre. They were hard-working craftsmen who sometimes hit excellence. Now they are mostly forgotten - not least in France.