Aleksandr Davidoff


Quick Reference

(b Poltava, 4 Sept 1872; d Moscow, 28 June 1944). Ukrainian tenor. He studied in Odessa and Kiev, joining the opera at Tbilisi in 1893. His Moscow début was with Savva Mamontov's Moscow Private Russian Opera Company in 1896. From 1900 to 1912 he sang at the Mariinsky in St Petersburg, appearing first as Hermann in The Queen of Spades, the opera with which he became most closely associated until increasing deafness brought his career to an end. His voice, which was that of a lyric tenor, was heavily taxed by roles such as Otello and Canio, yet his contemporary Sergey Levik held that his special ability lay in bringing lyric qualities to such roles. He also sang in Paris, where in 1934 he briefly became director of the Opéra Russe de Paris. Recordings show him as an unusually interesting and often stylish singer, at his best both graceful and expressive.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

Reference entries