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Messager, Andre: Veronique (NPD85635/2) (Two CD's)

Messager, Andre: Veronique (NPD85635/2) (Two CD's)


 
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Product Code: NPD85635
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Thanks and thanks again to Newport Classic for yet another "find." In this case, the "Veronique" of Andre Messager (NPD 85635/2), in English, with the indefatigable Ohio Light Opera troupe under J. Lynn Thompson. Having given us a welcome "Eileen" in the best Victor Herbert tradition, Newport Classic now gives us a fully staged version of this post-Offenbach work on two CDs. Okay, the plot is fluff. Okay again, the old EMI version in French had a lot more elegance (and none of the tiresome dialogue). But there is no other "Veronique" in the catalog now, at least in the USA, and the producers have thoughtfully given the dialogue separate tracks so it can be cued out on repeated hearings. Is it, I keep asking, possible to read lines like these with any amount of realism? Third okay: while every tune is pleasant, none lingers for long in the memory as do at least half of Offenbach's big-three operettas (you name them) and most of any Gilbert & Sullivan (the last one excepted). The cast is quite competent if not exceptional. And while Susan Miller's singing of the title role does not erase memories of French sopranos of the past, it is serviceable and spirited. And again if the men sound a little wimpy, I chalk it up to their youth and the nature of their roles in this fluff. Still in all, not only will this recording afford many hours of light and pleasant listening, but it might inspire local musical groups to examine fin de siecle operettas for their own productions. Delightful fluff, June 13, 1999 By Frank Behrens - Includes complete libretto