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Originally premiered in its French version as La Favorite on December 2, 1840 at the Theatre de l'Academie Royale de Musique in Paris, La Favorita is one of Gaetano Donizetti's most beautiful and sophisticated scores. It includes the enduringly popular arias O mio Fernando, Spirto gentil, and Vien, Leonora , and affords a generous supply of vocal and dramatic opportunities for a quartet of leading singers. This live 1971 performance from Tokyo boasts a stellar cast, headed by Fiorenza Cossotto a paragon of bel canto tonal beauty and expressivity in the title role. She has an ideal partner in Alfredo Kraus, who brings his brilliant tenor sound and great interpretive imagination to the role of Fernando. Rounding out the cast are the authoritative baritone Sesto Bruscantini in the role of King Alfonso and the majestic bass Ruggero Raimondi as Baldassarre. The esteemed maestro Oliviero de Fabritiis conducts this historic performance, captured in vivid stereo sound.