Cart 0


$ 9.09 $ 19.49
This 6CD set contains 100 tracks from the international catalogues of EMI Classics and Virgin Classics of the best songs from the most famous operettas from Vienna, Berlin, London, New York and Madrid.

The operettas represented here are among the most popular and successful ever written, covering the period from the middle of the 19th century to the early part of the 20th century, after which the genre evolved into what we now know as musicals. These operettas produced some of the world’s best-known melodies that have become established in their own right outside of the theatre and have been heard in every context, including concerts, recordings and film soundtracks.

All the items are sung in the language in which they were originally written.

The Austro-Hungarian composers like Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehár and Emmerich Kálmán contribute many gloriously romantic pieces from their timeless operettas, including Die Fledermaus, Der Zigeunerbaron, Gräfin Mariza, Der Graf von Luxemburg, Das Land des Lächelns and of course the immortal Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow).

There is also a representation of the Berlin school of operetta with extracts from works by Eduard Künneke (Der Vetter aus Dingsda) and Walter Kollo (Drei alte Schachtein and Marietta), the latter sung by the composer’s grandson, the tenor René Kollo.

The French operetta tradition is strongly represented by some of the finest operettas ever written such as Orphée aux Enfers, La vie Parisienne and La Belle Hélène by Offenbach, Véronique by Messager and La Fille de Madame Angot by Lecocq.

The works of Gilbert and Sullivan are acknowledged to be the pinnacle of English operetta and they are represented by items like ‘Poor wand’ring one’ from The Pirates of Penzance and ‘Take a pair of sparkling eyes’ from The Gondoliers. Other English composers include Edward German (Merrie England), Ivor Novello (Glamorous Night) and Noël Coward (Bitter Sweet).

In America, a group of composers produced some superb operettas that were fully comparable to the Viennese models that inspired them. These include The Belle of New York by Gustave Kerker, Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert and The Firefly by Rudolf Friml.

The lively world of the Spanish zarzuela is not neglected, with a generous selection of arias and choruses from some of the most attractive works of this genre, including Doña Francisquita by Vives, Los gavilanes by Guerrero, La taberna del puerto by Sorozábal and La tempranica by Giménez.

All the performances are in authentic style, and the singers are international stars who have appeared in all the major performing centres of the world. Their names include Victoria de los Angeles, Sari Barabas, Teresa Berganza, June Bronhill, José Carreras, Michel Dens, Nicolai Gedda, Barbara Hendricks, Mady Mesplé, Jessye Norman, Lucia Popp, Anneliese Rothenberger, Rudolf Schock, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Rolando Villazón and Fritz Wunderlich.

More from this collection