I already had a Highlights version of this operetta and decided I needed a full version. This is excellent. Just chock-a-block with good music. I have a non-subtitle version of the operetta on DVD so I can happily listen to this recording and image the scenes on DVD.
This is a serviceable rendition of a fine operetta but never quite catches fire, or conveys the vivacity of the piece. This is primarily due to Regine Crespin in the title role, who frankly sounds like she should be singing Katisha - or some other old bat from Gilbert & Sullivan - rather than a vivacious young street singer. (Note to ageing sopranos everywhere, just because you can't sing the high notes any more it doesn't qualify you to be a principal mezzo, however famous you are).
Alain Vainzo is very good as Piquillo and Bastin is OK as the Viceroy although listening to him you wouldn't know this is a comic part. The smaller male parts are taken well enough, but the three cousins sound a bit underpowered.
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