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David J. Baker
Opera News, December 2019

…This production, recorded live in Rouen, offers a cast that might best be called promising. The several male singers shine primarily in comic recitative, and the prima donna, Jeanne Crousaud—on whom so much depends—does her best work in a wistful duet and other interactive passages.

It also reflects dedication by all concerned and tight, determined leadership from conductor David Reiland. © 2019 Opera News Read complete review

Ralph Locke
American Record Guide, September 2019

The recording was made at a 2018 performance in the famous 816-seat Imperial Theater of Compiègne, built for Napoleon III. It has fine acoustics. The singers are native French-speakers, which helps the work come alive. Vocally, they are all capable or better, with Jeanne Crousaud particularly delightful to hear in the coloratura-laden role of Zerlina…

The orchestra is led with energy and flair by Belgian-born conductor David Reiland. The balance between soloists, chorus, and orchestra is well managed by the engineers… © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, June 2019

The performances on this premiere recording are modest but engaging and entertaining as well. David Reiland secures bright and breezy playing from his appropriately named Orchestre des Frivolités Parisiennes. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Raymond J Walker
MusicWeb International, May 2019

The principals sing confidently throughout and the orchestra accompanies with fine attention to detail. David Reiland sets a good pace to retain the energy and flow in the music. … The cast performs well in this live performance… © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, May 2019

Auber earned international fame in the late 1820s for his revolutionary grand opera La Muette de Portici and by the time he composed La Sirène in 1844, the success of which inspired potpourris of its melodies, he occupied a central place in French musical life. The mysterious Siren of the title is part of a plot that abounds in fantastic comedy, love, betrayal, farce, and festivity in the lineage of Italian popular theatre. French libretto available online. © 2019 Records International

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, April 2019

World premiere recording of Daniel-Francois Auber’s brilliant opera La Sirène. Belgian conductor David Reiland shows a keen sense for Auber’s light and elegant music, but does not miss the opportunity to give the more dramatic passages the necessary impetus. Jeanne Crousaud sings the title role with a luminous, well timbred voice. The rest of the cast is good too, so that this is a really recommendable release. © 2019 Pizzicato

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2019

During his long life the prolific French-born composer, Daniel-Francois-Esprit  Auber, enjoyed tremendous success in the popular world of ‘Opera-comique’. It was the arrival of Jacques Offenbach in Paris, with his extended musical comedies, that soon diverted attention from Auber’s works that were slight by comparison. Today little is heard of them other than the overtures which still feature in concert programmes. He was to write thirty-one in that genre, all to libretti by Augustin-Eugene Scribe, and this disc will point out that we have been missing out on some highly enjoyable works. For such a short opera – it comfortably fits on one disc – La Sirene has a highly complex story. In brief it surrounds the Impresario looking for a soprano for his touring troupe when he has news of a girl called Zerlina, but is better known as ‘La Sirene’, and it is with her singing she lures unsuspecting travellers into the hands of her brother and his group of bandits. Then onto the scene comes a Duke of dubious parentage, and the young navel officer Zerlina once saw and fell in love with, and you have all of the ingredients for confusion that ends up ‘happily ever after’. The present ‘live’ performance is in a shortened version from 1849, apparently approved by Auber five years after its premiere. How much this takes out we are not informed, but the score, as we hear it, is very tuneful, with ample impact in arias and virile choruses. The orchestral part, here conducted by the Belgian-born, David Reiland, is scored with plenty of comic energy, and the French cast obviously enjoy performing the music, Jeanne Crousaud excellent in the virtuoso role of Zerlina. The fulsome tenor voice of Xavier Flabat pictures the chief of the bandits, with Benjamin Mayenobe as the Impresario caught up the happenings all around him. For a ‘live’ recording the sound is very well balanced, stage noises are few in number, and the young Les Métaboles chorus are obviously relishing their part. An opera-comique I have greatly enjoyed, its neglect totally undeserved. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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