Live recordings of the great Soviet singers of the 1960s and 70s performing Russian operas with the Bolshoi Opera are few, so Galina Vishnevskaya, Irina Arkhipova and Yuri Mazurok in Pikovaya dama is a rare treat for this week’s “Trove Thursday.”  

Occasionally the Bolshoi would tour outside the Soviet Union and those visits sometimes resulted in private recordings. One televised performance also with Vishnevskaya and Mazurok that might be familiar to some is a 1970 Eugene Onegin from Osaka, Japan.

I believe a video of a Prince Igor from that same Japanese tour also exists.

The famous 1975 visit of the Bolshoi to the Met was widely hailed as a revelation but that wasn’t the august group’s first tour to North America. The Soviet troupe visited Montréal for Expo ’67, and, happily, a “pirate” captured this sizzling performance of Tchaikovsky’s greatest opera.

Tchaikovsky: Pikovaya dama
Bolshoi Opera at Expo 67
Montreal 19 August 1967

Lisa: Galina Vishnevskaya
Countess: Valentina Levko
Polina: Irina Arkhipova
Prilepa: Tamara Sorokina
Governess: Elena Obratzsova
Gherman: Zurab Andzshaparidze
Yeletsky: Yuri Mazurok
Count Tomsky: Mikhail Kiselyev

Conductor: Boris Khaikin

Pikovaya dama, last week’s Cesti, as well as all previous “Trove Thursday” offerings are available for download from iTunes or via any RSS reader.