Dmitry Smirnov


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(b Moscow, 7/19 Nov 1882; d Riga, 27 April 1944). Russian tenor. He studied with Emiliya Pavlovskaya and apparently in Milan. He made his début as Gigi in the first performance of Michele Esposito's Camorra at the Hermitage Theatre, Moscow, in 1903. After a trial début as Sinodal in Anton Rubinstein's The Demon, he sang at the Bolshoy (1904–10), where he created Dante in Serge Rachmaninoff's Francesca da Rimini (1906). From 1910 until 1917 he was a member of the Imperial Opera, St Petersburg. He often sang in western Europe (in the Sergey Diaghilev seasons at Paris, and in Monte Carlo, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona), and appeared at the Metropolitan (1910–12, début as the Duke in Rigoletto). In 1911 he sang in Lakmé with the Boston Opera Company and toured Latin America. He took part in Thomas Beecham's Drury Lane Russian opera productions in summer 1914. After 1919 he sang widely in Paris, Brussels and London. Besides his large French and Italian repertory, he sang many Russian roles, including Lensky, Grigory (Boris), Levko (May Night) and Lohengrin. He made approximately 90 recordings, which reveal the peculiar plangency of his tone allied to an instinctive sense of the right style for the music in hand.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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