The start is the audience/chorus rushing on through the audience and from backstage, a good start. Although this is a surreal opera the duel between Fata Morgana and Tchelio being pushed around on very highchairs just seems daft.
Most aspects of the sets throughout are dominated by playing cards, large, small and often the backs as screeens. It does not always work too well.
In act 2 playing card cases are stacked with one being the princes bed. I do like the courtiers "club" based costumes. Fata Morganas costume and make up is rather good, quite liked it.
In act 3 Farfarello is a singing backdrop, not good. The performance of Richard Angas as Creone, the cook, possibly the best I have seen in any version.
The desert scene is curled up playing cards, following the general theme. From there with the dying princesses (liked the undertakers) the story rushes headlong with the princess being turned into a rat, poorly done, and eventually back. The prince never gets out of his pyjamas for the whole production.
I have not commented on the singing individually, it is just all right. Willard White is wasted vocally not much scope really.
I have three versions, all I have rated with four stars, but the opera nationale de paris has got the edge with Charles Workman and Barry Brain. Two outstanding voices. Sendaks is worth a view for the sets and effects. If I could only keep one it would be Opera Nationale De paris.