(b Daugavpils, Latvia, 9 March 1953; d Bratislava, 13 Jan 2008). Russian tenor. After linguistic studies in Gor'kiy (now Nizhniy Novgorod) and singing lessons in Vilnius, he made his début at the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre, as Alfredo, in 1981. His Western début did not take place until 1990, when he appeared as Lensky at the Vienna Staatsoper; but unlike some compatriots he has not concentrated primarily on Russian roles: his calling cards at major houses in Western Europe have included Don José, Calaf, Cavaradossi (the role of his Metropolitan Opera and Paris Opéra débuts) and Don Carlos (which he sang at the 1998 Salzburg Festival), and his non-Russian repertory also includes the Prince (Rusalka) and Florestan. It was in Carmen that he made his Covent Garden début in 1991. He has sung three roles in Boris Godunov, beginning as the Simpleton, moving on to Shuysky and finally assuming the Pretender with the Kirov Opera at the Metropolitan in 1992 and at the 1994 Salzburg Festival. That Salzburg production has been preserved on disc, and his other important recordings include Calaf (on disc and video), Andrey in P.I. Tchaikovsky's Mazepa, Sergei in Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and a disc of Russian songs. Larin is a highly expressive performer, possessed of a heroically charged tenor tone which he is capable of scaling down as the situation demands. His portrayals of complex characters and the internalized drama he finds in the song repertory suggest that he belongs to the old, psychological tradition of Russian theatre.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.