I've basically no complaints against the music or its performers. These aren't first-rate operas of course, but they're well worth hearing, rare survivors from a period which saw hundreds like them appear and quickly vanish into oblivion. They're performed very well here; Stratas is superb, Domingo is everything we've come to expect, and Obraztsova sings really more passionately than the music deserves. All my frustration is against the director; the first film is alright, but the second is wrecked by permanent extraneous noises layered on top of the music: twittering birds; shuffling feet; or, most unbearably, chattering, giggling, screaming brats throughout some two-thirds of the whole film. The idea was clearly to create atmosphere or whatever; personally I listen to operas because I enjoy music, and I hear recordings expecting to be rid of the coughing and moving which typically mar concerts. It quickly got to the point where I was dreading the slightest diminuendo, knowing that it would be ruined by the noises. I've nothing against opera films in general, but they only work as essentially filmed stage works, entirely focused on the music but taking advantage of more elaborate sets and production values than are possible in a theatre (Götz Friedrich's 'Salome' and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's 'The Barber of Seville' are wonderful examples). This disc is probably worth buying for the first film, but watching the second left me only infuriated.