Finally this absolutely sublime "Manon" has been released on CD. The moment I saw it, I ordered it. I always loved Sills in French music, her "Les jeunes filles de Cadix" is ravishingly beautiful. The live Thais from the MET (Not available in the USA) is one of the most moving performances of this sensuos opera. This Manon is one of Sills' crowning achievements, along with her Pamira, Elisabetta (Devereux), early Lucia, Anna Bolena and (YES) her sublime Norma. There is a triple crown of Manons, de los Angeles and Sills in the past and young Fleming today. Cotrubas' performance is beautiful too but not as glorious. Sills' feminine, fragile sound is made for the young Manon, as she develops her character her voice grows darker but never lacks the vocal splendour above the passagio. Her "Adieu notre petite table" is as haunting as Callas' recording and certainly more steady, I treasure both of them highly. Listen how she spins those endless phrases without gaps and flawless legato! What a gorgeous Pianissimo she had, it's lovely! The gambling scene in all its intensity has never been recorded with such a thrill. Sills shows that she was willing to give it all, to surpass every limit. The final scene, IMHO preferable to Puccini's version shows Sills at her best. The agony, love and heavenly passion is absolutely stunning. Being partnered by one of the greatest tenors ever to sing Des Grieux, we have an operatic dream-couple par excellence. (Their live-Lucia is a treasure too!) Gedda sings elegantly, passionately and with a French equalling the great George Thill. Souzay is equally splendid, as is the stupendous, always underrated Baquier. (The most ravishing Athanael and a great Scarpia) Rudel conducts perfectly, him and Sills created so much magic together! (Buy the Devereux video!) This release has been awaited EAGERLY! Now please, PLEASE release Sills' Norma on CD. I have the live-recording with Woolf and I'm totally floored, she even surpasses Sutherland in the vocal department. RUN to buy this recording and beg, blackmail or steal for Sills' Norma! You won't be sorry!