This programme reveals many jewels in the Russian archives from the twenties to the seventies with the focus on the major singers of the period. Male singers dominate the scene - as indeed they dominate Russian opera with mighty bass voices from Shalyapin to Reizen; tenors from Lemeshev to Kozlovsky; and baritones like Lisitzian, Krivchenia and Nortzov. But there were great sopranos and mezzos too. The surviving gems include Vishnevskaya as Lisa in 'Queen of Spades', Arkhipova in 'Khovanshchina' and Obratsova as Marina in 'Boris Godunov'. There was a 'golden age' for the arts during the worst years of Soviet rule. Producers and artists were hugely supported with generous state funds and patronage. Many of Russia's talented singers such as Ivan Kozlovsky and Sergei Lemeshev would have been international stars if they had travelled abroad. Unfortunately, few of the top singers were allowed to perform outside the USSR. With stills, audio recordings and archive footage, the programme reveals the atmosphere at the theatre, the friendly rivalry of the 'two tenors' Lemeshev and Kozlovsky. But most of all, this film is about great Russian voices, the mighty bass of Petrov, Piragov and Ognivtsev who have all played the leading role in 'Boris Godunov' and Reizen and Mikhailov as 'Ivan Susanin'. It includes wonderful archive footage of these great singers and their superb performances, capturing 'The Vintage Years' of Russian opera.