V0342. DIMITRI SMIRNOV: Songs by Rachmaninoff, Gretchaninoff, Frière, Tosti, etc.; Arias from Barbiere, Iris, Mefistofele, Werther, Manon, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Tosca, Lohengrin, Eugen Onégin, Roméo, Sadko & Dobrynia Nikititch. (England) Pearl 9241, recorded 1912-29 (incl. the 13 Smirnov Electrical Recordings). Transfers by Seth B. Winner. Long out-of-print, final copy! - 727031924128
“Smirnov made his French début at the Paris Opéra in 1907. His successful Parisian performances led to an invitation for him to appear at the Metropolitan Opera, where he sang in 1911-12. Competition from the celebrated international tenors Enrico Caruso and John McCormack, who were also singing at the Met at that time, resulted in Smirnov's achieving limited success with New York audiences. In 1914, he performed in the ‘Russian Seasons’ at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He would not sing in the United States again except for two performances of PIQUE DAME with the Washington National Opera — a semi-professional company not related to its present namesake — in 1926.
Smirnov was equally comfortable performing lyric rôles in Russian, French or Italian opera. His voice was plaintive in tone with easy high notes, great breath control, and a distinctive vibrato that might not appeal to the taste of every modern-day listener. Smirnov's main tenor rivals in Moscow and St Petersburg prior to the 1917 Revolution had been Leonid Sobinov (1871-1934) and Ivan Yershov (1867-1943). Yershov undertook heroic parts such as Siegfried and Otello which Smirnov never attempted, but Sobinov's repertoire was similar to that of Smirnov.”
-Zillah Dorset Akron