Tune of the Day: Barcarolle
This barcarolle, titled “Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour”, is taken from Act II of the 1851 opera The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann) by German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach.
Despite being the famous number in the opera, the duet was not written by Offenbach with Les contes d'Hoffmann in mind. He wrote it as the “Elves' Song” in the opera Die Rheinnixen (aka Les fées du Rhin, i.e. The Rhine Nixies), which premiered in 1864. Offenbach died in 1880 with Les contes d'Hoffmann unfinished, and it was Ernest Guiraud who completed the scoring and incorporated this excerpt from one of Offenbach's earlier, long-forgotten operas into the new opera.
The Barcarolle has been incorporated into many films, including Life Is Beautiful and Titanic. It also provided the tune for Elvis Presley's rendition of the song “Tonight is so Right for Love” in the 1960 film G.I. Blues.