Vishnevskaya Galina Pavlovna is a legend in the history of Russian theater. The talent of the singer, actress, teacher and director has been recognized all over the world. Vishnevskaya G. P. - a public figure and leader, awarded many titles and awards at home and abroad.
Vishnevskaya Galina Pavlovna (October 25, 1926 - December 11, 2012) is an outstanding creative person who has earned world fame thanks to her talent and vocal skills. The future artist of the Bolshoi Theater with a unique timbre of voice was born in the fall of 1926 in a working class family in the city of Leningrad. As the actress later wrote in her autobiography, her childhood fell on the difficult years of collectivization, repression, hunger, the ruin of the peasants and the blockade.
The beginning of the singer's creative career
Galina Pavlovna's mother Zinaida Antonovna Ivanova (1906-1950) came from a Polish-Gypsy family. She was a singer by nature, played the guitar, which was inherited by her daughter. Finding herself in Kronstadt with her grandmother because of the divorce of her mother from her husband, who was not Galina's father, the girl began to try her voice, delivered by nature.
Four-year-old Galya had to sing songs to her grandmother to help her forget the pains caused by rheumatism for a while. If someone came to visit them, then the girl sang Russian romances without hesitation, hiding from everyone under the table. Gali's own father Pavel Andreevich Ivanov never visited his daughter, and her sick grandmother stopped getting out of bed during the hungry years of the blockade. The cause of her death was an accident when she received burns from a dress that caught fire at night from a stove.
The father repressed before the war could not help his daughter. In the blockade year 1942, when Galina was left alone, a commission on the search for living people accidentally looked into the apartment. This saved the life of a 16-year-old girl, who was given the opportunity to enter the women's air defense unit. During the years of military service, the young singer took an active part in military concerts held in the forts of Kronstadt, on ships, on sites near the dugouts.
Singing to the orchestra during the terrible years of the war not only helped the future opera soloist to strengthen her spirit and withstand the blockade, but also to develop her vocal and artistic abilities in the future. After graduating from the Leningrad Music School for Adults. Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov in 1944. Galina sang in the choir of the operetta theater. Having entered the Philharmonic Society of Leningrad three years later, the artist alternated between classical singing and pop singing, studying since 1951 under the eighty-year-old teacher V. N. Garina.
From the talented teacher Garina, Galina took over the win-win vocal methods. The singer was able to become famous in the USSR thanks to her special voice. A charming lyric-dramatic soprano often sounded at the discoveries of restored architectural monuments destroyed by the enemy during the war.
Work at the Bolshoi Theater
During one of the walks along the Nevsky Prospect of Leningrad in 1952, the singer saw a poster announcing the selection of vocalists for the Bolshoi Theater after audition. Galina did not yet have conservative knowledge, but she sang confidently at the competition. For the internship after the second round in Moscow, the jury could only select Vishnevskaya.
While working in the Bolshoi Theater, the soloist performed more than 30 solo parts. The troupe received the artist warmly, she felt support, which allowed her to immediately show her vocal abilities in the serious premiere of "Eugene Onegin", performing the part of Tatiana. The singer became famous thanks to performances based on the works of Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev, Verdi:
- 1954 - "Fidelio" - the role of Leonora;
- 1955 - "The Snow Maiden" - the role of Kupava;
- 1957 - "The Marriage of Figaro" - part of Cherubino;
- 1958 - "Aida" - the main role of Aida;
- 1959 - The Queen of Spades - part of Lisa;
- 1959 - "War and Peace" - the role of Natasha Rostova.
10 years after starting her work at the State Academic Bolshoi Theater, Galina became a student at the Moscow Conservatory. She managed to pass exams in all subjects as an external student in 1966. Then the singer sang the part of the main character in the musical film "Katerina Izmailova" directed by M. G. Shapiro. After that, the purposeful artist began to have not only the experience of scoring opera films (1958 - Tatiana in the film-opera "Eugene Onegin"), but also a film actress. Later Vishnevskaya played the main role in the feature film "Alexandra" by A. Sokurov.
Three years after the start of fruitful work at the Bolshoi Galina Vishnevskaya began to receive invitations to tour in foreign countries. She gained a wealth of experience performing operatic roles in European countries: Finland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Great Britain, Italy, France, Belgium, East Germany, Austria. A close friend of the singer's family was the composer D. Shostakovich, whose works were written for the voice of Vishnevskaya and occupied a special place in her opera repertoire. She performed works by other composers who were in love with her voice:
- Boris Tchaikovsky - vocal cycles based on poems by Russian poets.
- Benjamin Britten - role in the oratorio "War Requiem" 1962
- Marcel Landovsky, who wrote the "Galina" symphony based on Vishnevskaya's autobiography in the mid-90s. - part in the opera The Child Calls - 1979
- Krzysztof Penderecki - soprano part in the later composition "Polish Requiem" - 1983
The singer's chamber repertoire included dozens of works by the great composers P. I. Tchaikovsky, D. D. Shostakovich, R. Strauss, M. P. Musorgsky, R. Schumann, S. S. Prokofiev, K. Debussy. Alexandra Melika-Pashayeva has mastered all the subtleties of opera singing. Debuting on the American stage in 1959, Vishnevskaya proved to be a socialite, but in the United States she was presented as a communist. The performance of the Soviet opera diva in America was perceived as "a knockout in the eyes and ears." The talented singer has performed not only in the USA, but also in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The artist entered her first short marriage at the age of 17. In 1944 she met a sailor, but after 4 months they divorced. Galina remained with his sonorous surname until the end of her days.
After 2 years, the director of the Opera Theater of Leningrad, Mark Rubin, married Vishnevskaya, 22 years older than Galina. The first child of Vishnevskaya was the son of Ilya, who died as an infant. Galina's difficult married life ended in divorce 10 years after the singer met the famous conductor Mstislav Rostropovich.
The meeting of talented people was the last for two. In 1955 they became spouses officially. The musicians gave birth to two daughters, calling them Olga and Elena. Having happily lived together for 52 years, they often performed together, touring the world. The love story of a star couple is described in the documentary "Two in the World. Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich", released in 2009 after the death of the famous cellist (March 27, 1927 - April 27, 2007).
In 1974, the famous cellist and his family were forced to leave their homeland, which was due to the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn from the Union of Soviet Writers. In the fall of 1969, the spouses offered the dissident their dacha as a place of residence. The support by the cellist's family of the writer in a letter in the fall of 1970 resulted in the deprivation of the stars of the opera of the citizenship of the USSR after the foreign business trip of the Ministry of Culture of the Soviet Union was issued. Vishnevskaya worked in America and France not only as a singer, but also as a stage director of opera performances.
The 1982 concert at the Grand Opera in Paris was Galina's farewell concert. Under the direction of conductor Rostropovich, she sang the part of Tatiana from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. The singer has been teaching for 20 years. Having established the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Singing Center in Moscow in 2002, the singer was its director. The great opera diva died in Moscow on December 11, 2012.