Good vocal performances from a uniformly strong cast, great quality HD film (although irritating camera angles sometimes show us stage crew lurking in the wings, thus breaking the theatrical illusion), Runnicles leads the Met orchestra stupendously, and all at a bargain price. My only criticism of the production is that it is all a bit clinically clean with no sense of the landscape and climate; not one whiff of the salt air or sea apart from in the music. All the costumes look freshly washed and pressed by the wardrobe mistress - this is supposed to be a working 19th century English fishing town - where is all the mud, rain, sand and fish guts?
Unfortunately the 2 disc set is ruined by the presentation - we really do not need Natalie Dessay (great performer that she is, she can offer absolutely no insight into this opera) nervously fidgeting with cue cards and microphones, hovering in the wings to leap on performers as they step off the stage.
If the Met must insist on 'educating' us with this inane celebrity style chatter, please stick it all on the end of the disc so those who just want to watch the opera can do so. They did so with the release of Netrebko's Lucia, so why not all the other releases? Yes you can skip chapters, but we shouldn't have to!