This could so easily have been a 9 if Joan Sutherland hadn't played the self-aggrandizing prima donna right to the very end of her career and disrupted - rather like an over-long television commercial - an otherwise excellent production. For this final appearance, she chose the role of a Green Mountain - and looked ridiculous; she didn't sound all that great either which proved her point about leaving while people are still willing to listen. At any other time hearing the three stars sing together would have been wonderful but they caused a break in the opera that never really healed and the final scene hobbled to the end - the continuity gone and the stuffing knocked out of it. Despite this, the excellence of the performances and the charm of the ballets make it worth seeing - fast-forwarding through the star turns by Sutherland, Horne and Pavarotti could be an option.
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