(b St Petersburg, 20 Jan/1 Feb 1882; d Leningrad, 12 Dec 1953). Russian soprano. She studied first with her mother in Russia and later with Teresa Arkel in Milan. After her début at Tbilisi in 1901 she sang for three years in Kiev and from 1905 to 1907 in Moscow. Returning to Italy she performed Tatyana in the Venice première of Yevgeny Onegin. She toured widely until 1909, when she joined the Boston Opera Company, making her début there as Micaëla in Carmen. Other roles included Marguerite de Valois in Les Huguenots, Gilda in Rigoletto and on one occasion the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, which she undertook for an indisposed colleague as the curtain was about to rise, knowing no more than the Sextet and Mad Scene. At this period she also became well known as a recording artist, and on her return to Russia in 1911 was engaged at the Mariinsky and Bol'shoy theatres. From 1923 to 1950 she taught at the Leningrad Conservatory. Recordings show a bright voice, sometimes hardening on the high notes but used with exceptional skill, especially in staccato passages.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.