With ""Il tabarro"" Puccini wrote the first part of his projected opera triptych, with which he ultimately intended to parody and reverse Wagners Ring tetralogy by stringing together three completely incoherent short stories. Once more, for Il tabarro the composer virtually emigrated to France, to which he had already made declarations of love with La Bohème and Manon Lescaut. This affinity is now mirrored more clearly than in these two operas in the music of The Cloak, which emanates French, well-nigh Impressionist perfume. Bertrand de Billy knows how to make the score come alive with a fantastic cast on his side. World famous tenor Johan Botha was on the top of his career at the making of this album, and the results of the entire ensemble together are historically beautiful.