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Offenbach's operetta "Orpheus in the Underworld" opens in Paris and introduces the world to the "can-can"

Jacques Offenbach, detail
10/21/1858
Jacques Offenbach's full length operetta Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld), a comic retelling of the classic Greek legend, opened this day at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens in Paris.  The ire of moralists, and some critics, helped it become one of the most popular pieces ever offered there.  Perhaps most notoriously, the operetta included in its second act the galop infernal, famous ever since as the music for the "Can-Can."  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Quaintance Eaton, Opera Production: A Handbook (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 108-109.

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