(b Zaytsevo, Dnepropetrovsk province, 21 June/3 July 1895; d Moscow, 25 Nov 1992). Ukrainian bass. He studied at the Khar'kiv Conservatory and made his début with the Khar'kiv Opera as Pimen in Boris Godunov in 1921. In the following seasons he appeared in a wide variety of roles, including Méphistophélès in Faust, Saint-Bris in Les Huguenots, Ruslan and Farlaf in Ruslan and Lyudmila and Dosifey in Khovanshchina. From 1925 to 1930 he was a member of the Leningrad Opera, where in 1928 he sang his first Boris. He then became principal bass at the Bol'shoy, Moscow, remaining there for the rest of his long career. He also sang in Germany, Hungary and France, with appearances at the Paris Opéra and at Monte Carlo in Mefistofele and Il barbiere di Siviglia. One of the greatest of Russian singers, he had a voice of exceptional beauty, scrupulously used and so well preserved that he could sing at the Bol'shoy to celebrate his 90th birthday. He was also an imposing figure and an accomplished actor. His recordings, dating from 1929 to 1980, include complete performances of Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina and Mozart and Salieri, together with an impressively wide repertory of songs, mainly Russian.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.