This is one of only two recordings of Admeto that I know of, the other being the early Alan Curtis recording from 1977 with singers like Rene Jacobs. I have not heard the latter, but the present recording reflects recent period-style practices, and has the major added bonus of being a stage production one can watch on DVD. There is a deliberate sense of incongruity between the "contemporary hospital" setting of the story (by the 'renowned' countertenor Axel Köhler), and the absolutely faithful Baroque-style playing and singing. Which means that the recording is second-to-none in terms of the period instrument playing and conducting, even if the conductor, Howard Arman, may be totally new to most of us (as are, for me, all of the soloists). But the musical quality is second to none, and the recording is highly enjoyable either to listen to or to watch (well, especially to watch). While in principle I don't like far-fetched contemporary stage-settings, in this case it provides a reasonably good foil for presenting the story in a savagely original and humorous way, and almost all of the singers manage very well to adapt to the strange sets and still give us very good emotionally-nuanced performances, and even some pretty good acting at times (deliberately hammed up). I am a lover of countertenors, and I must admit that there is one countertenor in this production that I really cannot bring myself to like, namely the lead part, Matthias Rexroth. He is handsome and looks fine in the part, which may be why he was cast, but his mode of singing has more of the unnaturalness that sometimes plagues the counter-tenor voice than any other counter-tenor I know of, with the probable exception of Rene Jacobs, who found much greener pastures as a conductor. The other soloists are uniformly superb, each in his or her own distinctive way: Lichtenstein as Admeto's wife, Bach as Princess Antigona, Mead (a countertenor who wins you with his stage-acting as much as his voice) as brother of Admeto, Nolte as Hercules, Hirsch in a slightly silly trousers role as a courtier (dressed like an office girl), and certainly Vogel as Antigone's confidant, whose antics and facial expressions provide some of the most entertaining moments in this part-serious, part-comical drama. Even Rexroth's slightly ridiculous and incongruous style of singing, looking and sounding like he was never born to be a countertenor, kind of fits in with the basic incongruity of the production, so one can learn to listen to him with enjoyment as well. I haven't really figured out the purpose of the two extra CDs provided, but it does encourage one to put the opera on just for listening. Since one seldom gets beyond two or three viewings of an opera on DVD, this is in principle a good idea. By the way, there is some really fine Handelian music interspersed in this opera, and like every one of the master's operas, it has something distinctive about it. This DVD set is certainly for every fan of Handel's operas, at least, though of course there are more unforgettable productions around -- of OTHER Handel operas.