Galina Kalinina is a Russian opera singer, prima of the Bolshoi Theater of the 1970-1990s, one of the most beautiful, stylish and talented artists of the Soviet and then the world opera stage. Due to various circumstances, Kalinina did not receive such massive popular recognition as, for example, Elena Obraztsova or Irina Arkhipova, but the older generation of classical music lovers in our country knows and remembers the singer well with her wonderful soprano voice.
Biography and career
On June 30, 1948, in the small village of Osinovaya Roshcha, Vyborgsky District, Leningrad Region, a girl named Galya was born into a family of ordinary employees. As a child, she did not have any prerequisites for a creative career - her parents were far from music, her daughter grew up, like many children of the post-war period: she studied at school, was fond of volleyball and gymnastics, went to the pool. For the first time, a school singing teacher drew attention to Galina's musical talent and advised the girl to study music. And Galya entered a music school, where she mastered playing the piano, sang with pleasure in the choir, and also took part in performances and amateur performances at the school.
In the early 60s, the family moved to Moscow. After completing her school education, Galina Kalinina got a job at the Isaac Dunaevsky Music School, where she not only taught, but at the same time studied at the vocal department. This training allowed the girl to enter the Gnesins State Musical College in 1967, in the vocal class of M. P. Alexandrovskaya. After graduating from the Kalinin school, on the advice of the accompanist I. F. Kiryan, tried to enter the Bolshoi Theater in the trainee group, but did not pass the selection. Fate developed in such a way that Elena Obraztsova, by that time already the leading singer of the Bolshoi and Honored Artist of the RSFSR, saw an upset crying girl in the foyer of the theater. She reassured Kalinina, began to study vocals with her, and this was the beginning of a brilliant career for a young singer. She entered the Gnessin Music and Pedagogical Institute, in the class of the teacher G. A. Maltseva. Then in 1973, while in her second year, she nevertheless ended up in the trainee group of the Bolshoi Theater, and at the institute she was transferred to the evening department. And in the same year she won the second prize in Geneva at the International Competition of Music Performers (and the first prize was not awarded to anyone at that time). The following year, 1974, Kalinina became a laureate and won III prize in Moscow at the V International P. I. Tchaikovsky. While still a student, the young singer received the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR. In 1977, Kalinina graduated from the Gnessin Institute.
For almost twenty years - from 1975 to 1992 - Galina Kalinina was one of the leading soloists of the Bolshoi Theater of the Soviet Union, performing the main roles in almost all opera productions - classical and modern: Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Liza in The Queen of Spades, Iolanta from the opera of the same name by P. I. Tchaikovsky, Leonora in the opera "Troubadour" by G. Verdi and Floria Tosca in "Tosca" by G. Puccini, Donna Anna in "The Stone Guest" by A. S. Dargomyzhsky, Natasha Rostova in "War and Peace" by S. S. Prokofiev, Liza Brichkina in the opera "The Dawns Here Are Quiet" by K. V. Molchanov and many others. In addition to working at the Bolshoi Theater, Kalinina constantly took part in large festive concerts broadcast on television, starred in Blue Lights, recorded at a recording studio, and toured the country. In 1981, her merits were recognized by the government with the Order of the Badge of Honor, and in 1984 the singer was awarded the title of People's Artist of the RSFSR.
Galina Kalinina is not only an outstanding singer, but also a wonderful actress, very subtly conveying the images of her stage heroines. An example is the touching and heartfelt performance of the vocal recollection of Liza Brichkina from Kirill Molchanov's opera “The Dawns Here Are Quiet”. There is no text in this vocal number - as befits a vocalist, it is performed in the syllable "a", it is a sad melody with features of a folk lyric song. But how piercingly and emotionally it is performed by Kalinina, conveying in intonation, gestures, facial expressions a whole range of feelings of a young girl, cut off from her cozy peaceful life and forced to go to the front, where she is soon destined to die.
Kalinina performed the part of Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with incredible subtlety and tenderness, demonstrating not only the highest vocal, but also dramatic skill. The singer Elena Obraztsova highly appreciated the image of Tatyana created by Kalinina: "… The actress has not yet begun to sing, but already - Tatyana … and those huge, sad eyes, thin face, pure girlish, naive voice …".
Kalinina also tried her hand at cinema: in 1979, at the Lentelefilm film studio, director Yevgeny Makarov shot a musical film based on the operetta by F. Legar "The Merry Widow" called "Ganna Glavari". The main roles in this film were played by Galina Kalinina and the famous Gerard Vasiliev.
A new turn in the biography of the singer
In the 1980s, Galina Kalinina began to go on tour abroad, where she also received recognition and love of the public. In 1986, concerts took place in Great Britain with the Scottish Opera, and in 1987 Kalinina had a chance to open the season in Argentina, at the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, performing the part of Lisa in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades. This was followed by invitations to various countries and famous world theaters - including, to Covent Garden, La Scala, where the singer made her debut in 1993, performing the part of Theodora in the opera of the same name by W. Giordano. There were tour trips to France, Italy, USA, Canada and other countries.
In 1993, Galina Kalinina made a decision, unexpected for many, to leave her homeland and move to Germany for permanent residence. Here her creative career continued at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, where she became the lead soloist. Kalinina's stage repertoire was constantly expanding - Aida, Othello, Macbeth, Turandot and many other opera performances, where Galina Kalinina performed the main female parts, were staged on the stages of German cities and in other countries.
For two decades, Galina Kalinina was almost forgotten in our country. And suddenly she appeared on Russian television on the Kultura channel in the third season of the Big Opera project. Even connoisseurs did not immediately recognize the singer, once beloved by millions of Soviet people, in a bright, spectacular woman with short red hair. Galina accepted the invitation to become a member of the jury of the Bolshoi Opera, where she highly assessed the contestants and gave them very valuable advice on vocal and acting skills.
Today, singer Galina Kalinina lives in Germany and Russia, performs on stages around the world, including her native Bolshoi Theater, and takes part in television projects.
Galina Kalinina belongs to the category of celebrities who do not seek to advertise their personal life. There is no information about whether she was married and in general about relationships with men. Nevertheless, the singer has two children: daughter Marina Kalinina and son Yuri Kalinin.
Marina Dmitrievna Kalinina was born on December 8, 1969 in Moscow, as a child she sang in the choir of the Loktevsky ensemble, in 1994 she graduated from the GITIS (RATI) named after Lunacharsky, after which, like her mother once, she was selected for the trainee group of the Bolshoi Theater, and since 1999 she has become a soloist of the Moscow Musical Theater "Helikon-Opera". The singer has an incredibly beautiful soprano voice. In 2013 she received the title of Honored Artist of Russia.
Marina has a husband and a daughter - Elizaveta Narsia, the granddaughter of Galina Kalinina. Elizaveta is also a singer, in 2018 she graduated with honors from GITIS (RATI) on a course with Dmitry Bertman, after which she became a soloist of the Moscow musical theater "Helikon-Opera", which is directed by the same Bertman.
Thus, a whole dynasty of wonderful singers and talented actresses has developed - Galina, Marina and Elizabeth. The grandmother, daughter and granddaughter sometimes even perform concert numbers together.
The son of Galina Kalinina Yuri was born on December 24, 1986, as a child he sang in the boys' choir in the city of Limburg, but did not follow his mother's musical footsteps - he graduated from the Faculty of Management, lives and works in the German city of Bad Ems, he has a wife, Maria, and in Their daughter was born in 2017.