I remember watching this series of six abridged animated operas when they first appeared on TV some years ago and I was delighted to see them available on the Amazon website. Would they be as good as my memory would suggest? Well, I am happy to report that they are quite marvellous, surpassing my every expectation. The animations are from the same team who produced "Shakespeare, the Animated Tales" and employ a variety of techniques, ranging from elaborate puppetry to breathtaking cel and stop frame animation. They are, without exception, stunningly beautiful and hold the attention throughout. The operas featured are "Carmen", "Rigoletto", "The Barber of Seville", "The Magic Flute", "Turandot" and "The Rhinegold"...quite an achievement to condense this epic work into a mere 30 minutes! The Rossini includes some spoken dialogue, while the Bizet not only omits the tenor's great aria, but also the character of Micaela! Otherwise, one can only marvel at the abridgements, which are ingenious to say the very least. The recordings are courtesy of the Welsh National Opera and feature the voices of such distinguished performers as Jean Rigby (Carmen), Donald Maxwell (Figaro and Escamillo), Jonathon Summers (Rigoletto), Simon Keenlyside (Papageno), Andrew Shore (Bartolo), Adrian Thompson (Don José) and Jane Eaglen (Turandot). This disc would make a wonderful introduction for newcomers to opera, but experienced opera-lovers will find much to enjoy as well. Incidentally, I managed to pick it up very cheaply!