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Come, boys, let’s all be gay, boys!’ warbles the happy male chorus in The Student Prince – lyrics that would surely make even a nun titter. Old-fashioned though it may be, Sigmund Romberg’s 1924 operetta still has charm aplenty with wonderfully catchy tunes and a plot that has the courage to conclude on a morose note rather than the expected happy ending. This is one of a series of releases from the label CPO, which is industriously recording operettas by composers such as Strauss, Straus, Fall, Kálmán, von Suppé and, in particular, Lehár: well worth investigating. John Mauceri leads the jollities with dash, conducting a solid cast. Tenor Dominik Wartig and soprano Anja Petersen lend their light but attractive voices to the two main roles, and the chorus and orchestra enter into the spirit of things. It’s all quite infectious, and hopefully will help Romberg’s music from fading away – after all, The Student Prince was the great Broadway hit of its day, and numbers such as ‘Deep in my heart’ still have the capacity to provide much pleasure (not to mention serious earworm).

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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