This richly rewarding album is Oksana Volkova’s first solo album on Delos, though she appeared alongside the late, great Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Delos’s GRAMMY®-nominated 2017 release of Verdi’s complete Rigoletto. Here she delivers powerful, passionate and ravishing performances of (mostly) well-known French, Italian, Russian and Belarusian arias for mezzo-soprano. The composers include Bizet, Thomas, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Cilea, Massenet and Mascagni; Russian masters heard here are Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, alongside a rare treat: an arresting aria by Belarusian composer Dmitri Smolsky, whose music is almost completely unknown in the West.

Glowing instrumental collaboration, as usual, comes courtesy of Maestro Constantine Orbelian, leading his trusty Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra.