With Offenbach’s Barbe-bleue , French director Laurent Pelly notches up his 11th staging of a work by, as Rossini dubbed him, “the Mozart of the Champs-Élysées” – and very fine it is too. Filmed in 2019, this Opéra de Lyon production features charming sets (Chantal Thomas), gorgeous contemporary frocks (Pelly himself with Jean-Jacques Delmotte) and deftly effective lighting by Joël Adam. Add a nimble reading of Offenbach’s criminally underrated score (Michele Spotti in the pit) and a handful of first-rate comic performances and the DVD is pretty much self-recommending.

Offenbach

There are a few caveats. The book, a take on Perrault’s pitch-black folktale about a notorious wife-murdering duke by regular Offenbach collaborators Meilhac and Halévy, could do with an overhaul. As in all of Offenbach’s finest satires, it does an effective job of skewering Second Empire bourgeois morals – indeed, the tyrannical Roi Bobèche and his dysfunctional family is a daringly close-to-the-bone parody of the court of Napoleon III – but here it seems a trifle dated. Or perhaps it’s just not that...