For decades operette has had bad reviews with many music lovers. Finally a disc has appeared that dispels any notion of fat, overdone music making only fit to your grandparent's taste. Gardiner gives a dazzling peformance with a star cast. The Wiener Philharmoniker play at their very best in a stunningly natural recording. It is difficult to single out any singer for special qualities, because the whole cast sings extremely well. One can raise a brow when hearing Cheryl Studer in a role that does not suit her completely. However, this does not mar the impression that you hear this piece for the first time as it was meant to be heard by Léhar. Almost at the same time as this recording a rival disc appeared with English forces, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. Even if this record has Thomas Hampson as its strongest asset, it does not have the same sparkling quality. The applause of that live-recording seems strangely out of order. Gardiner makes the most out of it, supported by the engaded singing of his Monteverdi Choir. If you do not have any operette disc yet, hear this one and enjoy it.