"The rewritten lyrics, in English, are some of the wittiest and wicked in operetta. Wilson and Pountney have recaptured the spirit of naughtiness, not a small accomplishment in our licentious times. Though delighted to have the highlights, I wished a CD set or video of the full production were available."
William P. Toutant | Los Angeles, CA | 12/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a collection of excerpts. It is in English and is quite good. The performance of the entire operetta has been discontinued and it is a pity."
A Splendid Souvenir to Remember a Spectacular Performance!
William P. Toutant | 10/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been fortunate to have seen the English National Opera's production in 1988 of "Orpheus" with Wilson and Pountney's outrageously naughty English text, this highlight CD serves as an audio souvenir. Too bad the ENO didn't have the foresight to film the production-would have made a great DVD. The CD booklet does have a few photos of the sets designed by Gerald Scarfe (who also designed Pink Floyd's "The Wall" album artwork) so you get a taste, combined with the CD selections, of what the production was like."
The weakest Orpheus around
Colin Glithero | Auburn,WA | 03/26/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Sorry, but I find the enthusiastic reviews for this disc totally incomprehensible.This is poorly-selected, poorly-translated, and poorly-sung. There are two other versions in English, both of which are in a different class from this one. Lilian Watson is a fine Eurydice, but the rest of the cast are dull to mediocre (compare Richard Angus's muddy, unfocused delivery of Jupiter to Eric Shilling's clear,witty performance in the 1960 Sadler's Well's highlights recording,or to Richard Suart's in the 1994 complete set from the D'Oyly Carte company). Certainly Eurydice is the heart of the operetta, but a good Eurydice cannot make up for all the other weaknesses. Poorly selected? Several years after the first production, Offenbach expanded the work for production in a larger theater. He was working under the pressures of time and money, and the additions were, with one exception, well below his usual extremely high standard. Most modern productions omit these, except Mercury's song, which is vintage Offenbach. This disc includes them, omitting or shortening better numbers. If you love Offenbach, as I do, don't bother with this disc. There is a two-CD set of highlights from three operettas, Orpheus, La Belle Helene, and La Vie Parisienne, from the Sadler's Well's Opera. These are from the 60's, but the sound is still crystal-clear. This set is an incredible bargain, with excellent translations and superb singing from all three casts. Alternatively, there is a two-disc complete performance from 1994 by the D'Oyly Carte Opera, with first-class performances of both music and dialogue.(I think you can get this one from amazon.uk.) So buy one of these or, better, splurge on both of them rather than spending money on ENO's inferior version.