Zara Dolukhanova


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(b Moscow, 15 March 1918; d Moscow, 4 December 2007). Russian mezzo-soprano. She studied with V. Belyayeva-Tarasevich at the Gnesin music school and graduated from the Gnesin Institute in 1957. In 1939 she made her début at the Yerevan Opera but soon left the stage for the concert hall. She was, however, one of the singers who took part in re-establishing Gioachino Rossini's florid mezzo roles in the repertory: she broadcast performances of Cinderella and Rosina (also Cherubino) and recorded extracts of Semiramide. She was appointed a soloist with the All-Union Radio and Television in 1944, and with the Moscow PO in 1959. Dolukhanova was outstanding among Russian singers of her day. She used the wide range and agility of her coloratura voice with controlled ease, giving polished performances of such differing composers as Modest Musorgsky, P. I. Tchaikovsky, Sergey Prokofiev, Giuseppe Verdi and Claude Debussy; she also gave the first performance (1955) of Dmitry Shostakovich's cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry. In all her interpretations she displayed a keen style, and she went to the heart of whatever she sang. She toured widely, in east Europe, and in Italy, France, Britain, Argentina, the USA, Japan, New Zealand and other countries.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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