Vladimir Kastorsky


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(b Bol'shiye Saly, 2/14 March 1871; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], 2 July 1948). Russian bass. He studied with Stanislaus Gabel in St Petersburg and made his début in the provinces, going to the Mariinsky, St Petersburg [later Leningrad], in 1895. There he remained until 1930, singing in a wide repertory which included Wagnerian roles such as Wotan and King Mark. In 1908 he sang Pimen at Paris in the first performances of Boris Godunov outside Russia. For many years he taught singing in Leningrad, and at an advanced age appeared at the Bol'shoy in a supporting role in The Queen of Spades. He also became a famous singer of folksongs, especially with a male-voice quartet which toured extensively. A voice of fine quality, almost baritonal in timbre, is heard in recordings, impressive also in the low register, evenly produced, tastefully directed and well preserved in later years.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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