How very apt for a production as good as this. La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein is not one of Offenbach's finest works, but the music is of great beauty and it has its charm. Like with Laurent Pelly's other Offenbach productions, I loved every minute of this. The attention to detail is done absolutely beautifully, even if Act 2 is at times too darkly lit. The music is pure Offenbach, the Gallop heard has that unmistakable style of his. The staging is classy and full of charm and sparkling comedy. The Carillon section at the end of Act 2 is included to delightful effect and is filled with non-stop hilarity and spirit from all involved. The musical values are every bit as good, the orchestral playing is energetic and lush in its sound, while Marc Minkowski's conducting is remarkable in how elegantly shaped and musical it is. Felicity Lott's voice I think has seen better days, but it still sounds great and done with her usual musicality and intelligence. She is a deft comedy actress as well. Yann Beuron has a ringing tone and a good stage presence, plus he seems to have an understanding of Offenbach's style. Sandrine Piau is casting in luxurious measure. Overall, an absolute delight, nothing wrong to say about it at all. Just for the record, of Laurent Pelly's productions I've seen, which is all but one, L'Heure Espagnole, Ariadne Auf Naxos and the Met Manon are the only ones I didn't care for, the rest are very good to outstanding. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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