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The tradition of Western opera in Russia is long and rich. The Opera Russe CD-ROM includes twenty complete Western operas sung in Russian and the Verdi Requiem sung in Latin. It is difficult to select bits and pieces for this page, but I chose to represent both the singing and the style with duets. 

The audio quality of these recordings varies substantially, but the performances excerpted here should go far toward dispelling conventional wisdom about performances from Russia. It is significant that although relatively few Western works were recorded in the Soviet Union in this period, some were issued in multiple versions. For example, the justly famous Markevitch recording of the Requiem was followed only four days later by the even more remarkable one under Melik-Peshayev preserved on this disc. We have also chosen the earlier Faust, sacrificing Lisitsian's Valentin for Reizen's devil and a more youthful Kozlovsky in the title role. 

Beethoven: Fidelio Act II - "O namenlose Freude"
Galina Vishnevskaya, Giorgi Nelepp 

Bizet: Les pecheurs de perles Act I - "Au fond du temple saint"
Sergei Lemeshev, V. Zakharov 

Puccini: La Boheme Act III - "Addio dolce svegliare"
Irina Maslennikova, Sergei Lemeshev 

Verdi: Requiem "Recordare" 
Galina Vishnevskaya, Irina Arkhipova 

This disc explores its embodiment in recordings of the Soviet era through the following titles and casts.

Composer Title Conductor Artists
Auber Fra Diavolo Khaikin Lemeshev, Gribova
Beethoven Fidelio Melik-Peshaev Vishnevsakaya, Nelepp
Bizet Carmen Nebolsin Borisenko, Nelepp
Bizet Les pecheurs de perles Bron Kazantseva, Lemeshev
Delibes Lakme Orlov Kazantseva, Lemeshev
Gluck Orfee Samosud Kozlovsky, Shumskaya
Gounod Faust Nebolsin Kozlovsky, Shumskaya, Reizen
Gounod Romeo et Juliette Nebolsin Lemeshev, Maslennikova
Leoncavallo Pagliacci Samosud Uzunov, Yakovenko, Lisitsian
Massenet Werther Samosud Kozlovsky, Maksakova
Mozart Nozze di Figaro Sanderling Abramov, Kazantseva
Puccini Boheme Samosud Maslennikova, Lemeshev
Puccini Madama Butterfly Bron Shumskaya, Kozlovsky
Rossini Barbiere di Siviglia Samosud Burlak, Firsova, Kozlovsky
Rossini Cenerentola Bron Dolukhanova, OrfEuropev
Rossini Italiana in Algeri Samosud Dolukhanova, Nikhitin
Verdi Aida Melik-Peshaev Sokolova, Nelepp
Verdi Falstaff Melik-Peshaev Nechipailo, Vishnevskaya
Verdi Requiem Melik-Peshaev Vishnevskaya, Arkhipova
Verdi Rigoletto Samosud Ivanov, Maslennikova, Kozlovsky
Verdi Traviata Orlov Shumskaya, Kozlovsky, Lisitsian
Wagner Lohengrin Samosud Kozlovsky, Shumskaya

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