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5 Russian opera singers who have conquered the world

Vienna Opera and London Covent Garden, Mariinsky Theater and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. We recall opera singers from Russia who have become world famous for their sopranos.

Galina Vishnevskaya

Galina Vishnevskaya’s musical career began in Kronstadt: first the young singer performed in front of her grandmother and her guests, then at all the concerts at the school. She was called “Pebble Artist”. Vishnevskaya miraculously escaped from starvation in besieged Leningrad, enrolled in an air defense detachment – and sang again: for sailors in the evenings.

In 1944, Galina Vishnevskaya easily entered the Leningrad Regional Operetta Theater and traveled to small towns and villages with concerts. Since 1947, already in the status of a soloist of the Leningrad Regional Philharmonic, the singer has performed with variety programs. And soon in the life of Vishnevskaya, vocal teacher Vera Garina appeared. The singer wrote about this meeting in her book “Galina”: “I don’t know how my further creative fate would have been without her, but I would never have become an opera singer”.

Garina, who had a great stage experience, opened a real opera soprano in a new student. Two years of training Vishnevskaya enough to in 1952 to enter the trainee group of the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR.

Among the first parties performed on the main stage of the country are Tatiana in “Eugene Onegin” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Kupava in “The Snow Maiden” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. However, the intern Vishnevskaya dreamed about the role of Aida in the eponymous opera by Giuseppe Verdi. She prepared it under the direction of maestro Alexander Melik-Pashayeva and conquered not only the Soviet, but also the Western public. Foreign theaters vied with each other to invite a Soviet singer. The correspondent of the New York Times wrote: “Vishnevskaya – knockout in the eyes and ears.”

However, all the creative achievements of the opera singer crossed her “politically unreliable” act. In 1969, Galina Vishnevskaya and her husband Mstislav Rostropovich sheltered the disgraced writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn at their dacha near Moscow. In 1974, after numerous trials, the couple decided to leave their friends, their home, their favorite audience and go abroad. And in March 1978, Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich were deprived of Soviet citizenship and state awards.

Abroad, the opera singer continued to perform in theaters until 1982. Then, having said goodbye to the stage, Galina Vishnevskaya gave concerts and master classes. In 1990, Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich returned to the USSR. In 2002, the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center opened in Moscow, whose graduates sing in the best theaters in the world today.

A documentary about the life of Galina Vishnevskaya:
The Life Line program with Vishnevskaya:
Lyubov Kazarnovskaya

Lyubov Kazarnovskaya was supposed to become a journalist and was preparing to enter Moscow State University. Mom persuaded her to go to audition at the Gnesinsky school. So the Soviet press was left without a journalist Kazarnovskaya, and the opera house gained a new bright name. Very little time passed, and from the class of the famous teacher Nadezhda Malysheva-Vinogradova, the young singer stepped onto the stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Academic Theater, and then onto the Mariinsky Stage.

In 1989, when the Iron Curtain, which defended Soviet citizens from the “pernicious influence of the West,” fell, foreigners, opera operas, reached Russia in search of new voices. Lyubov Kazarnovskaya representatives of the Vienna Opera invited to the capital of Austria.

Next – performances on the world’s best opera scenes in a variety of ways. She succeeded in fiery Tosca in the opera of the same name by Puccini and the resigned Desdemona in Verdi’s Othello. There were rave reviews from the press, and scandals associated with the refusal of the prima donna from participating in dubious directorial ventures.

During trips to Western countries, Lyubov Kazarnovskaya always had time for serious Russian projects. In 1995, she sang the title role in Richard Strauss in the Salome at the Mariinsky Theater, in 1999, at the Bolshoi Theater, she performed the part Manon in the experiment “Portrait of Manon” composed of scenes of two operas of the same name by Massne and Puccini.

In the 2000s, Lyubov Kazarnovskaya began to spend most of her time in Russia. For several years, the focus of its attention is educational activities and media projects.

Habanera from the opera “Carmen” performed by Lyubov Kazarnovskaya:
Maria Guleghina

The career of Maria Guleghina began at the opera house in Minsk. The young singer successfully performed and was popular with the public. In 1987, at the invitation of the leadership of La Scala, Maria made her debut on her stage in the party Amelia (“Masked Ball” by Giuseppe Verdi). By that time, the voice of the singer had turned from a mezzo-soprano to a dramatic soprano, to which all the “bloody” parts of the Italian repertoire are subservient. Speaking in the operas of Verdi and Puccini, Chilea and Giordano, she conquered music lovers around the world. The accompanist and teacher Larisa Gergieva called the Tosca party in Puccini’s opera the greatest singer in her repertoire.

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