Listen to a Sample:
Iris shows that it can be dangerous to write a composer off as a "one-hit-wonder". If Mascagni never achieved the same level of recognition in his later operas as he did for Cavalleria Rusticana, it wasn't due to lack of a real musical voice. Iris is born out of the same movement of "orientalism" in music that brought us such works as Die Frau hone Schatten, Le Rossignol and Turandot and like his contemporaries, Mascagni employed the sounds of the "Orient", imagined or otherwise, to great effect. Magda Olivero is astonishing in the title role and displays that in addition to having a great voice and operatic sensibility, her musicianship was also first-rate. The sound is excellent.
Magda Olivero sings excerpts from Madama Butterfly.