OP1666. JEANNE D’ARC (Tschaikowsky), Broadcast Performance, 1975, w.Marty Cond. Radio-France Ensemble; Irina Arkhipova, Vladislav Piavko, Nicola Ghiuselev, Rosario Andrade, Paiil Marinov, etc.; Irina Arkhipova & Vladislav Piavko, w.Craig Sheppard (Pf.): Recital, Live Performance, 22 March, 1983, Wigmore Hall, London. (Portugal) 3-Gala 100.627. - 8712177049790
“Irina Arkhipova began studies with Savransky at the Moscow Conservatory and from 1954 to 1956 sang with the Sverdlovak Opera where her roles included Marina in BORIS GODUNOV, Eboli in DON CARLOS, Charlotte in WERTHER and Marfa in KHOVANSHCHINA. Her first appearance at the Bolshoi Theater was in 1956 as Carmen, which became one of her most famous roles. The Bolshoi became her operatic home and she sang all of greatest roles there. At the Bolshoi she was especially noted for roles in PIQUE DAME, WAR AND PEACE, TSAR'S BRIDE and MAZEPPA, as well as her earlier roles in BORIS GODUNOV, DON CARLOS and KHOVANSHCHINA. After 1960, she began to appear outside Russia and first won fame as Carmen in Naples. She sang Helene in Prokofiev's WAR AND PEACE at Teatro alla Scala in 1964 where in later seasons she sang Marina in BORIS GODUNOV and Marfa in KHOVANSHCHINA.
Her first American appearance was is a recital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with John Wustman as accompanist. Her sensational performance of Azucena at the Orange Festival in 1968 brought her even more international acclaim. Her San Francisco Opera début came in 1972 as Amneris. In 1975, she made her début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Azucena. and in 1988 she returned to London as Ulrica in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. Although she sang at the Metropolitan Opera House with the Bolshoi Theater several times, she did not sing with the Metropolitan Opera until 1997 when she sang Filippievna in EUGEN ONÉGIN at the age of seventy-two. She also appeared at the opera houses in Berlin, Paris, Hamburg, Lyon, Marseille, Belgrade and the Savonlinna Festival. She directed several opera productions as she moved into semi-retirement.
She was married to heldentenor Vladislav Piavko. In 1993, a voice competition was set up in her name
Arkhipova's voice was a full, rich mezzo-soprano with great power and intensity. She did not lose quality as she moved between vocal registers, and she understood what her vocal strengths were and did not try to move beyond her best repertoire. Her voice had some of the edge that was often found in Slavic voices, but this helped give her voice an individuality which is sorely lacking in many singers today.
Her recorded legacy is vast but much of it has been available only in Russia. While her Marina in BORIS GODOUNOV was reissued by Melodiya, her Eboli in DON CARLOS, Joan in the MAID OF ORLEANS (JEANNE D’ARC) by Tchaikovsky and Laura in Dargomizhsky's THE STONE GUEST are still unavailable. Almost none of her wonderful song recitals is currently available. In particular, the songs of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Mussorgsky bring out the best in her interpretive art.”
- Richard LeSueur, allmusic.com
“Vladislav Piavko is one of the most famous Russian opera singers, starting his career in the middle of ‘60s, successfully performing all over Russia and abroad. He was the leading tenor of the Bolshoi Opera for about 25 years. His interpretations of Radames, Manrico, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Don José, plus variousRussian operas such as Shostakovitch’s LADY MACBETH OF MTSINSK and Shedrin’S DEAD SOULS, are highly regarded in Bolshoi history.
The most important operas of the Russian opera repertoire are recorded with his participation – BORIS GODUNOV and KHOVANTSHINA, PIQUE DAME, MAZEPPA, THE MAID OF ORLEANS (JEANNE D’ARC) by Tchaikovsky, THE LEGEND OF INVISIBLE CITY OF KITEZH by Rimsky-Korsakov
In 2006 Piavko recorded Verdi’s OTELLO. That was the special project for the 40th anniversary of his artistic activity with Moscow opera singers Irina Arkadieva as Desdemona and Evgeny Polikanin as Jago, the city of Jaroslavl Symphony and Choir, Conductor Murad Annamamedov.”
“Nicola Ghiuselev is a Bulgarian operatic bass, particularly associated with the Italian and Russian repertories. He studied first painting at the Academy of Arts in Sofia, and later voice at the school of the National Opera of Sofia, with Christo Brambarov. He made his stage début with that company, as Timur in TURANDOT, in 1960.
In 1965, with the Sofia Opera, he toured Germany, the Netherlands and France, and made his début at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, as Ramfis in AÏDA, quickly followed by King Philip II in DON CARLOS, and the title role in BORIS GODUNOV. In two seasons with the Met, he also sang as Raimondo in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, the Commendatore in DON GIOVANNI and Colline in LA BOHEME.
Important débuts followed at the Berlin State Opera, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, the Monte Carlo Opera, the Palais Garnier in Paris, the Liceo in Barcelona, the San Carlo in Naples, the Royal Opera House in London, the Verona Arena, the Salzburg Festival, the Holland Festival, he also appeared in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Marseille, Toulouse, Chicago, Houston, etc.
An often underrated singer, he possesses a rich and powerful voice used with considerable intelligence and has a strong presence.”
- H. P. Casavant