I am a confirmed Massanet fan, I love the way his orchestra rather than leading, or even supporting his singers reflects their moods. This is as good as any.
The casting, well I was also influenced in the purchase by Joyce Di Donato, she has a full rounded range, never gets a metallic edge to her high notes which can jar, she is close to my idea of perfection.
The casting of Alice Coote as the prince is a gem, Alice makes for a lovely chap, and is more credible than some trouser role mazzos that I heard.
The bonuses started to flow, I have not heard of Eglise Gutierrez, but I shall listen and look out for her again, a well rounded soprano, and I do mean in voice, she could be my fairy godmother any time. I had not heard of Ewa Podles either, she is magnificent in voice and presence and hams her way through the role with just the right degree of humour. The two stepsisters play up delightfully, with fine voices, which are not heavily excercised. Other singing minor roles are as good as one would expect.
You may have noticed that I have sidestepped Jean-Phillipe Lafont, whilst I find his characerisation absolutely fine, his wavering voice is not quite to my liking, but I can get by with it.
The staging is modern and unrealistic, with inscribed screens, which I was not distracted enough to translate, characters and props pop out from doors in them, and it suprisingly works very well.
Costumes are exotic for the posh characters, and suitably drab for the servants, the fashion designers had a field day with outlandish designs, very amusing.
I think that I have gushed enough about the production, on disc one there are some cast interviews, oh, and the leaflet is sparce on information, other than casting.
You can find out who the radio mike engineer is, amongst other technicians and backroom boys and girls.