For some reason I don’t remember, when I was a child I loved opera. As I grew up I start thinking that it was kind of boring and I stop listening to it. Anyway I never stopped enjoying operetta, so it was with opened arms that I received the City Center Encores! cast recording of the classic THE NEW MOON.
With music by Sigmund Romberg and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab, this operetta opened on Broadway in 1928, on a time that art form was already near death, and it was a success, becoming one of the most famous titles of the genre.
There are other recordings of this score, but this new one is not only the more complete of all but also the best of them. Once again City Center Encores! come up with a perfect cast that delivers the songs with emotion and an orchestra that plays the music with gusto.
Even if you don’t like operettas, you might be surprised to find something here that will keep you interested and to realize that this show as more to do with musical theatre than with opera. Among the famous tunes you’ll find the melodious romantic “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise”, “One Kiss” and “Lover, Come Back to Me” and the epic “Stouthearted Men”. There’s also lighter numbers like “Gorgeous Alexander”, “The Trial (Ladies of the Jury)”, “Marriage Number / Try Her Out at Dances” and “Funny Little Sailor Men”.
As for the cast the likes of Rodney Gilfry, Christiane Noll, Brandon Jovanovich, Lauren Ward, Peter Benson and Alix Korey (who sounds like Judy Kaye) are completely in tune with the rich orchestrations and the result is an enjoyable cast recording.