Foreign operetta isn't a reliable feature of London operatic life, and so a chance to catch some is always welcome. And a production as well played, sung and designed as this makes one regret its rarity in our big houses even more. (That said, we're getting Die Fledermaus at the ENO this Autumn, which I am greatly looking forward to.) La Vie Parisienne is sort of a strange choice as an end of year production as it really doesn't showcase these young voices very much, which one would have thought would be one of the principle reasons for putting on the show, but anyhow, this was a treat for the audience.
For a piece as totally sex obsessed as this, this production was a strangely prim, sexless and British affair. Virtually every character is jolly open about how horny they are and how they'd love to have an illicit encounter with someone (but don't tell the wife etc.) however the most Mary-Poppinish titillation is all that is delivered, with no hint that anything might be consummated. Absent too is darkness, pain, jealousy or embarrassment. Women occasionally will hint at their desires, though the production never makes it clear that they are not simply motivated by money, but 75% of the time we're dealing with unapologetic male urges, accompanied by the boundless means to follow these urges.