After `L'Apocalypse des Animaux' and `Fete Sauvage', the forty-three-minute `Opera Sauvage' is Vangelis's third soundtrack album for the French wildlife photographer Frederic Rossif.
Although, it is not really a soundtrack album in the sense that Vangelis does not compose to accord with the minute-by-minute, second-by-second action on the screen. Rather, here, as in other film soundtracks, he composes pieces and leaves it to the film's music editor to make the links to what is happening on screen. The result, sound-wise, is a set of true musical pieces. To that extent, this album can stand on its own as an independent work and can be enjoyed without ever seeing a minute of the film to which it ostensibly relates.
The album opens with the stately fanfare of `Hymne', famous for various commercials and subsequently reworked by Vangelis for his later `Portraits' album. This is followed by an intimate, lyrical, and tender `Reve' (`Dream'). As for `L'Enfant', many will know the music without knowing its origin: it is in the tradition of earlier Vangelis tracks such as `Pulstar' and `Spiral', but is not carried through to a denouement.
Jon Anderson re-appears on the final piece, `Flamants Roses' (`Flamingos'), making a major contribution playing the harp, so evocative of the piece's subject-matter. The only duff track is `Irlande'. It possesses a melancholy Irish air but is too simplistic. There is no development; it goes nowhere.
Overall, then, there is nothing `savage' about this album. It is truthful, for sure, but never unpleasant.