Best of Operetta: Le Belle Helene/Die Fledermaus/Die Lustige Witwe [3 Discs] [DVD]

This release offers a collection of the best moments from performances of the beloved operas Jacques Offenbach's La Belle Helene, Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus, and Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow, all recorded at the Theatre Musical de Paris in 2000.

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    La Belle Hélène (Theatre Musical de Paris)
    La Belle Hélène, Jacques Offenbach's 1864 three-act opera bouffe, unfolds just prior to the Trojan War. Offenbach opens with the goddess Venus promising to procure Helen's love for Paris, through Calchas, the High Priest of Jupiter. He subsequently weaves the tale of Paris' seduction of Helen and the virulent chagrin of her husband, Menelaus. The production of Offenbach's opera by The Théâtre Musicale de Paris -- Chatelet features a libretto co-written and adapted by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. Dame Felicity Lott portrays Helen, Yann Beuron is Paris, Michel Sénéchal is Menelaus, and François Le Roux plays Calchas. Les Musiciens du Louvre and the Chorus of the Musiciens du Louvre provide musical accompaniment. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

    Die Fledermaus (Wiener Staatsoper)
    The Vienna State Opera mounted this production of Johann Strauss II's 1874 operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) in 1980, with a cast that includes Bernd Weikl as Gabriel von Eisenstein, Lucia Popp as Rosalinde, Erich Kunz as Frank and Brigitte Fassbaender as Prinz Orlofsky. The Chorus, Orchestra and Ballet of the Vienna State Opera provide accompaniment under the baton of Theodor Guschlbauer, with Norbert Balatsch serving as chorus master. Günther Schneider-Siemssen designed the sets, Milena Canonero did the costumes, Gerlinde Dill choreographs, and Otto Schenk directs for the stage. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

    Die Lustige Witwe (Zurich Opera House)
    This production of Franz Lehar's opera Die Lustige Witwe features Dagmar Schellenberger, Rodney Gilfry, and Ute Gfrerer in lead roles. Franz Welser-Most conducts the Zurich Opera House orchestra for the production. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

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