Great sound, sterling performances all around, done in echt-sounding Viennese accents and dialect (e.g. "Sofe" for "Dienstmaedchen"). Though there are no cuts, there is no extended gala performance in Act II as is semi-traditional, but that just leaves the length (137 min.) more manageable for an evening at the operetta. One standout is Windgassen, a big burly Heldentenor who would look at home in a wresting arena, cast contrary to type as the world-weary, effete Prince Orlofsky, a role usually played by a woman. The Vienna Philharmonic's performance under Karl Boehm is spirited and lively without overwhelming the performers, and director Otto Schenk does double duty in the non-singing role of the seriously drunken jailer Frosch. I paid $90 for a DVD of this operetta pressed in Japan, at that time the only version available, and consider it money well spent. Don't let it slip away now that it's so much more affordable!
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