Listen to a Sample:
Hearing this opera performed in Italian, it struck me how Italianate Tchaikovsky is. There is something about the Italian language that lends itself to great melodies and Tchaikovsky was a master of melody. The lead singers, although not Italian-born, seem very comfortable straddling the Russo-Italian border that the circumstances demanded of them. The American Soprano, Patricia Craig, is first rate as Lisa. Her voice is youthful yet she is able to pull out some exciting spinto singing in her final aria. Jacques Trussel is also quite good as Ghermann. The real star of the show is certainly the Countess of Magda Olivero. She seems to relish the ability to forgo the run of the mill leading lady and she sings and acts with enormous color coming across as both horrible and pitiable. The sound is good.