In the early 90's I was able to buy four of Offenbach's operettas at Tower's Record Annex, which is long gone. Cds were sold for about $1.98. I purchased La Vie Parisienne, La Belle Helene, Orphee aux Enfers and La Perichole, plus numerous other albums of works of other composers. They were all new CDs. Record companies had discovered that the number of Americans who bought classical music had dropped from 11 percent to 6 percent, and so record companies dumped much of their inventory. By 2011 the number of people who listen to classical music has dropped even more. Do I feel bad that American tastes for great music has declined? Yes, but I got a chance to snap up so much great music, including much more when BMG Music and J&R did the same.
I have bought two other operettas of Offenbach since then, but these four are, to me, the most melodic and entertaining. All but one of them are from EMI. The other, La Perichole, is from Erato. If you are lucky in these bad times to have a lot of money, buy all four of them. These are wonderful pieces of music.