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The Offenbach Edition Keck, creating quality performance materials and rediscovering neglected works, was much in evidence in the composer’s bicentenary.

With over 600 performances utilising its editions in 2019, the Offenbach Edition Keck enjoyed a high profile in the composer’s bicentenary celebrations, from Salzburg, Vienna and Cologne to Lyon and London. The collaboration between Boosey & Hawkes and leading Offenbach scholar Jean-Christophe Keck, has been a game-changer for Offenbach’s music over the past two decades and a major publishing success story.

Surprisingly, even familiar Offenbach works lacked full scores and authoritative performing materials, now provided by the OEK for such favourites as Orpheus in the Underworld, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and La Vie parisienne. Opera companies, conductors such as Marc Minkowski and Mark Elder, and directors including Laurent Pelly and Barrie Kosky have endorsed the edition, making it a focal point for Offenbach on stage: 2019 saw the OEK Orpheus in the Underworld reach its landmark 1000th performance.

With ardent scholarship and expert sleuthing Jean-Christophe Keck has put a series of major Offenbach stageworks back on the map. From the Romantic opera Les Fées du Rhin and the opéra bouffe The Princess of Trebizond, through the satirical bite of Barkouf and King Carrot – ever topical with today’s political turmoil – to the lyrical charms of Fantasio, the OEK has widened the composer’s repertoire to the delight of audiences.

And the OEK goes far beyond the stage, with rediscovered concert works and educational publications. Offenbach’s reputation as the ‘Paganini of the Cello’ is celebrated in the Grand Concerto ‘Militaire’, while Jean-Christophe Keck has restored the 30-minute ballet music Le Royaume de Neptune from Orpheus in the Underworld for the concert hall.

The Princess of Trebizond
Theater Baden-Baden (2015)
Theater für Niedersachsen (2019)

Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg (2018)
Cologne Opera (2019)

King Carrot
Opéra de Lyon (2015)
Opéra de Lille (2018)
Staatsoper Hannover (2018)
Vienna Volksoper (2019)

Théâtre du Châtelet Paris / Rouen / Montpellier (2017)
Grand Théâtre, Geneva (2017)
Opera Zuid Dutch tour (2019)
Garsington Opera (2019)

>  Further information on Work: Orphée aux Enfers (OEK critical edition: 1874 version)

Photos: The Princess of Trebizond (Theater für Niedersachsen/Jochen Quast), King Carrot (Wiener Volksoper/Barbara Pálffy), Orpheus in the Underworld (Salzburg Festival/Monika Rittershaus), Fantasio (Garsington Opera/John Snelling)

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