Jacques Offenbach was born Jacob Eberst in 1819, but his father, a Cologne synagogue cantor, changed the family name to Offenbach. Although of German-Jewish origins, Offenbach has come to be thought of as essentially a French composer because of his great regard for Paris.
Although admitted to the Paris Conservatory, Offenbach left and found employment as a cellist at the Opera-Comique. This was followed by a successful early career as a virtuoso on the cello, for which he wrote a number of works, including a Concerto Militaire . Offenbach was the main founder of operetta--light opera with dialogue.