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La donna russa

Opera details:

Opera title:



Umberto Giordano




Fedora Synopsis


Fedora Libretto


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Aria details:




De Siriex





Previous scene: Principessa ci fate languir
Next scene: Ma dunque e amore

Titta Ruffo sings 'La donna russa' from Umberto Giordano's 'Fedora'

Singer: Titta Ruffo

Titta Ruffo sings 'La donna russa' from Umberto Giordano's 'Fedora'.

This recording is from 1904.

In the Hogart et al original issue (see Source), this recording is part of Volume 1: Complete Pathés ~1904. The identification number is 4209.

Titta Ruffo (9 June 1877 - 5 July 1953) was an Italian opera singer, generally regarded as the greatest baritone of his generation. He made his debut in 1898 at the Teatro Constanzi in Rome as the Herald in Wagner's Lohengrin. After a slow start, his career took off in the early 1900s and he quickly achieved international renown. His major debuts were in Buenos Aires (1902), London (1903), Milan (1904), Lisbon (1907), and the Paris Opéra (1911). Ruffo made his American debut in Philadelphia in 1912 and sang extensively in Chicago. He reached the Metropolitan Opera relatively late in his career, in 1922 as Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville. He sang 46 performances there from 1922 to 1929. He retired to Rome in 1935 and died in 1953 at the age of 76.

Ruffo's repertoire included most of the major baritone roles in French and Italian opera, including Rigoletto, di Luna, Amonasro, Germont, Tonio, Rossini's Figaro, Hamlet, Iago, Carlo in Ernani, Don Giovanni, Barnaba, and Renato in Un ballo in maschera. He was also renowned for several baritone roles in operas largely forgotten today: the title roles in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet and Franchetti's Cristoforo Colombo, Cascart in Leoncavallo's Zazà and Neri in Giordano's La cena delle beffe. Ruffo's signature roles were Rigoletto and Hamlet.

Source. All of the Ruffo recordings in my channel were originally collected by William Hogarth, with the assistance of other collectors, notably Thomas Hood. They were issued informally on eight compact discs and subsequently reissued as one of Michael Richter's Audio Encyclopedias: Titta Ruffo: The Complete Recordings, AE 104. This reissue can be purchased from, AE1040D.

Hogart, Richter, et al assert no rights to the compilation and encourage others to copy and to distribute in whole or in part. I do so here for your enjoyment.

Watch videos with other singers performing La donna russa:


La donna russa è femmina due volte,
doppiamente adorabile ed ostil...
Essa è la vera donna, d'Eva la figlia vera,
con le dolcezze e gl'impeti,
le audacie e le viltà ,
l'ali e gli artigli, l'estasi e le frodi,
pronta a immolarsi e facile a tradir.
Tutto il suo sesso è in lei,
tutto l'esser umano :
un altare, un abisso, un mistero!
Angelo e serpe,
zingara e regina,
sol d'oriente e gelo boreal!
Ecco la donna russa,
con le dolcezze e gl'impeti,
le audacie e le viltà ,
l'ali e gli artigli, l'estasi e le frodi,
pronta a immolarsi e facile a tradir.
Ecco la donna russa, ed ecco l'ideal!

English Libretto or Translation:

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