Nimbus Records, based in Monmouth, has won exclusive access to a treasure-trove of over 40,000 vocal recordings made in Russia between 1901 and 1940. Housed at the Museum of Theatre Arts in St Petersburg, the haul features the work of native singers - including Figner, Smirnoff, Davidov and the legendary Antonina Nezhdanova - often known in the West more by name than the noise they made. Nimbus sampled the archive in December. 'We listened open-mouthed,' says company press officer Philip Moss. 'Many of the singers were attached to the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg during its golden age. The standard catalogue of Russian recordings often only lists record numbers - not artists and repertoire. There we were filling in many of the gaps.' Nimbus plans a series of CD releases in its Prima Voce historic performance series, starting later this year.