Orphée aux Enfers, Offenbach's riotous parody of the dissipations of French life in the Second Empire, fairly gallops past in this 1997 Herbert Wernicke production staged at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. Based on Offenbach's meatier second version (1874) of the Orpheus legend, it features nicely judged performances across the board and some stunning special effects, notably the explosive locomotive crash signalling the breach of the divide between Heaven and Hell. Satire reigns, not least in the reactionary figure of Public Opinion, a pinny-clad bossy boots with a hint of Dame Edna Everage about her. Olympus is a moribund salon full of bored Gods, sick of the Ambrosian diet. The casting is excellent, with Jacqueline van Quaille's chain-smoking dowager Juno heading the field. Alexandru Badea’s Orpheus subverts the legend in his purely pragmatic pursuit of Eurydice (the thrush-voiced soprano Elizabeth Vidal) that has nothing to do with love. Dale Duesing's Jupiter is louche and sexy, particularly in the very funny fly scene in the second act. From first to last, Wernicke's production offers something to catch the eye and ear, culminating in the well-loved, frantic can-can finale. Overall this is not only well-sung but very entertaining.