Young lovers fall afoul of repressive society as Salem elders get caught up in the witch hunts and trials of 17th century Massachusetts. One family in particular uses the hysteria to its advantage, getting even with everyone for every slight–real or imagined.
Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys make up Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who were responsible for some of the catchiest and brightest synth pop that the '80s had to offer. O.M.D.'s material was a step above other keyboard pop music of the time, thanks to the combination of intelligently crafted hooks and colorful rhythms that bounced and jittered with pristine charm. Their squeaky-clean brilliancy initiated by both their synthesizers and subdued yet attractive vocal styles gave them a more mature sound over bands like Duran Duran and A Flock of Seagulls, who were attracting a younger audience. The Best of O.M.D. is an excellent compilation of their polished music, starting out with less provocative material like the basic electronic wash of "Electricity" and the bare but ebullient fervor of "Enola Gay." As this set moves along, so does the craftiness of their work, which is evident on tighter sounding songs like "Tesla Girls" and "Locomotion," where the intricacy of their formula begins to take a more resounding shape. O.M.D.'s best work came from 1985's Crush album, which harbored the midnight airiness found in "So in Love" as well as the adolescent innocence that streamed its way through "Secret," which are two of the best tracks on this set.
Stage and television director Werner Herzog, one of the most highly acclaimed German film makers of all time, joins forces with the great Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly to effect a masterful rendition of this rarely-performed opera involving spectacular scenes of alternating light and dark, pageantry and intimacy. The production is further complemented by the great Italian baritone Renato Bruson as Giacomo, the American soprano Susan Dunn as Giovanna and the outstanding tenor Vincenzo La Scola as the Dauphin. The magnificent Teatro Comunale di Bologna provides an intimate yet ornate setting for this production of Verdi's seventh opera, the story of the Maid of Orleans.