Lydia Lipkowska

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Giovanni Martinelli (1885—1969)


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(b Babino, 25 May/6 June 1882; d Beirut, 22 March 1958). Russian soprano. She studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory, and sang in St Petersburg at the Imperial Opera (1906–8 and 1911–13) and in private opera companies (1913–15). In 1909 she sang at the Thêatre du Châtelet, Paris and then in the USA, appearing with the companies of Boston (1909) and Chicago (1910), and singing with the Metropolitan Opera (1909–11). She made her Covent Garden début as Mimì in 1911, later appearing as Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's Susanna, Gilda and Violetta. At Monte Carlo in 1914 she took part in the first performances of Amilcare Ponchielli's I Mori di Valenza with Georgy Baklanov and Giovanni Martinelli. After emigrating to France in 1919, she appeared with different émigré opera troupes in western Europe, toured the USSR (1928–9) and later lived and taught in Romania; among her students was the soprano Virginia Zeani. Lipkowska returned to Paris in 1945 before settling in Lebanon. Her repertory included Lakmé, Lucia, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's Marfa (The Tsar's Bride), the Snow Maiden and Ol'ga (Ivan the Terrible), and P.I. Tchaikovsky's Tatyana and Iolanta. According to contemporary critics she was a good actress with an attractive presence and a pure voice capable of expressing uncomplicated emotions. She made 29 recordings between 1911 and 1914 which reveal her refinement of tone.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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