25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A must-have for Offenbach-philes,
This review is from: Offenbach - Bluebeard (Barbe-bleu) / Legay · Gayraud · Doussard (Audio CD)
This is billed as a live performance, but this is clearly not a performance in front of a live audience. No applause, no coughs, nothing. More than likely, this is a recording of a live radio broadcast -- in addition to the dialogue, there is a narrator (uncredited) describing the scenes and some of the action. All of this, along with the rest of the libretto, will be a mystery to non-Francophones, as there is no text included, and the notes, although they provide a good synopsis of the plot, provide little information about the singers and the songs. Moreover, there is a profound echo that makes one think that the whole production was recorded in a cave. Nevertherless, the singers are uniformly good, and there is a genuine Offenbach feel to the performance. Furthermore, given the price, this is really a great bargain. For the real operetta fan, who wants to hear this important work in the Offenbach canon that came right after La Belle Helene and right before La Vie Parisienne, you can't go wrong. For those who are new to Offenbach, the EMI recordings of the principal operettas (La Perichole, Orphee aux Enfers, etc) are much preferable.