The appearance of this
rarity has been eagerly awaited and
now enthusiastically discussed on the
Operetta website. Although there is
a certain amount of doubling up of characters,
this does not detract from the enjoyment
of the work.
The operetta opens
with an atmospheric introduction. Trembling
upper octave notes on piano and violins
give a simple yet appropriate sound-picture
of the heavens. It serves as texture
for Kitty's opening number and Franz's
ballad, A summer's day on the shining
sea where it obviously depicts the
The story is slight
and takes place in a girls' finishing
school. A school ball with a Damselfly
dance is an occasion for the girls to
parade their charm to prospective admirers.
One of the girls, Lily, is engaged but
already her fiancé has his eyes
on a girl in the opera! The commonsense
Lily decides that he must find her another
man if they are to break off the engagement.
So commences an involved yet trivial
plot. An innocent Franz becomes involved
with Lily. Kitty's father, an astronomer,
considers that Franz is a stargazer
who needs to wake up to the realities
of life, hence the title.
Quite a few musical
numbers are set in waltz time, but one
in particular appears with regular monotony
throughout the operetta.
I should have liked
a little more bounce and vitality to
some of the numbers. Although graceful
and sensitively delivered some sound
rather sleepy. The score is not the
best Lehár has written. The finales
never gather momentum to round off an
act and no chorus is involved. Yet the
work is not uninspired; and certainly
the performance has merit. The singers
are confident in their roles and sing
with true tenderness in their lovey-dovey
relationships. Claudia Rohrbach has
a timbre to her fine voice that is rather
mature for the age group she is portraying.
Robert Wörle at times seems uncomfortable
delivering his top notes in My young
Lady, I can't say it.
This is a 'Surround
Sound' disc and the effect of enhanced
realism works successfully. The recording
is superb with mellow orchestra and
voices not too forwardly positioned.
The bonus track is
the Overture from a one act Viennese
singspiel love story. Here Lehár
contrasts Alpine mountain tones with
a dab of oriental colour.
The booklet is provided
in German, English and French with good
background notes by Stefan Frey as well
as a synopsis for each of the vocal
numbers to help you follow the plot.
Raymond J. Walker