Offenbach is frequently considered to be a composer merely of operettas and other light musicals who produced only one truly serious piece: Les contes d'Hoffmann. The French composer, however, composed more than 650 works altogether, and his first opera, Die Rheinnixen (which includes the famous Barcarolle theme familiar from the later Hoffmann) has been unjustly forgotten.
The piece depicts a country shattered by internal warfare through an unusual love story. Composed with astonishing richness, this sparkling and glittering work combines poetry and politics, dreams and reality and the supernatural and the realistic. The work is being given its Hungarian premiere in a production by Ferenc Anger.