The minimal set was boring, and the huge clock seemed pointless and distracting. Having all the party guests dressed as men didn't make sense. I also found the character who walked around the edge of the set (God/ Death/ the doctor?) incomprehensible. The music was, as always, beautiful, but I found Dessay's voice disappointing. It was difficult to become emotionally involved. The second and third acts developed more passion, but the first act was very sterile. Dmitri Hvorostovsky stole the show! His singing, acting and passion far outdistanced the other performers, and helped make the last two acts more enjoyable. All in all, there are better vesions available on DVD!