Antonina Nezhdanova


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(b Krivaya Balka, nr Odessa, 4/16 June 1873; d Moscow, 26 June 1950). Russian soprano. She graduated from Umberto Masetti's class at the Moscow Conservatory in 1902; that year she was engaged as a soloist at the Bol'shoy, where she remained for nearly 40 years, singing leading roles in Russian and west European operas opposite Sobinov. In 1906 she created the title role in Serge Rachmaninoff's Francesca da Rimini in a performance conducted by the composer. He later dedicated his wordless song Vocalise (1912) to her. In 1912 she sang Gilda at the Paris Opéra with the Monte Carlo company. Her other roles included Lyudmila, Tatyana, Lakmé, the Snow Maiden, Volkhova (Sadko), the Queen of Shemakha, Elsa and Rosina. As M. I. Glinka's Antonida and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's Marfa, she achieved a most harmonious musical and dramatic integration. She married the composer, conductor and pianist Nikolay Semyonovich Golovanov, with whom she often appeared in concert. In 1927 he conducted her performance as Ninetta in Love for three Oranges at the Bol'shoy Theatre.


From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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