Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Feb 21, 2012

Dmitri Smirnov (Smirnoff) (Tenor) (Moscow, Russia 1882 – Riga, Latvia 1944)

                                                       Duke in ''Rigoletto''

Smirnov sang in his youth in church choirs. As a young law student, he sang with an untrained voice in a semi-professional group that actually produced operas from time to time. This led him to undertake serious vocal studies with Madame Pavlovskaja, and to take part in a competition at the Bolshoi in 1904, as a result of which he was given a two-year contract. He made his debut as Bayan, the Bard, in Glinka's Ruslan and Ljudmila and continued his career singing Jontek in Halka, the Duke, Alfredo, Faust, Prince Sinodal (The Demon) Lensky in Eugene Onegin and, on 11 January 1906, created the role of Dante in Rachmaninov's Francesca da Rimini, with Nezhdanova and Baklanov and with the composer conducting. He made his first appearance at the Mariinsky in a guest performance as the Duke in Rigoletto, and in the autumn of the same year joined a group of Russian conductor-composers: Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov and Glazounov, the pianist, Josef Hoffmann, and singers like Felia Litvinne and Chaliapin, who gave concerts in Paris, organized by Serge Diaghilev, presenting Russian Music "through the ages". The following year, he again joined the Diaghilev company in Paris, and sang the false Dmitry in Boris Godunov at the Opera on 19 May 1908, with Chaliapin, Alchevsky, who sang Shuisky, Kastorsky (Pimen), Sharonov (Varlaam), Mme Ermolenko-Juzhina (Marina) and others. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, on 30 December 1910, as the Duke in Rigoletto, but his success there was limited and he remained for little more than a month. He was a member of the Mariinsky troupe from 1910 to 1917, with guest appearances in three continents, including a series of performances of Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night organized by Sir Thomas Beecham in the summer of 1914 at the Drury Lane Theatre, London. After 1919 he sang widely in Europe and, between 1926 and 1930, his concert tours took him on several occasions into the Soviet Union. His last years were spent chiefly in teaching. 

Chronology of some appearances

1910  Montevideo  Teatro Solis Rigoletto (Duca)
1910 Montevideo  Teatro Solis Boheme (Rodolfo)
1910  Montevideo  Teatro Solis Mefistofele (Faust)
1910 Buenos Ayres  Teatro dell'Opera Mefistofele (Faust)
1910 New York  Teatro Metropolitan Rigoletto (Duca)
1910  New York  Teatro Metropolitan Boheme (Rodolfo)
1911  New York  Teatro Metropolitan Boheme (Rodolfo)
1912  Madrid  Teatro Reale Mefistofele (Faust)
1912 New York  Teatro Metropolitan Rigoletto (Duca)
1912 New York  Teatro Metropolitan Boheme (Rodolfo)
1914 San Pietroburgo  Narowni Doma Boheme (Rodolfo)
1920 Montecarlo  Grand Theatre Tosca (Cavaradossi)
1921  Montecarlo  Grand Theatre Boheme (Rodolfo)
1922  Roma  Teatro Costanzi Boheme (Rodolfo)
1926 Parigi  Champs Elysees Rigoletto (Duca)



Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1909-11
Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle 052269 429½s
Romeo et Juliette (Massenet): Ah! leve-toi, soleil 022133 428s
Pescatori di perle (Bizet): Mi par d'udire ancora 022143 434s
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Whither, whither...Distant echo of youth 022154 430s
May Night (Rimsky-Korsakov): Sleep, my beauty 022155 435s

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1909-10-11
Lohengrin (Wagner): Da voi lontan 022214 2471c
Sadko (Rimsky-Korsakov): Song of the Indian guest 022215 2472c
Demon (Rubinstein): On Desire's soft fleeting wing 022218 2475c

Gramophone, St Petersburg 1910-10-12
Mefistofele (Boito): Giunto sul passo estremo 052293 2058c

Gramophone, St Petersburg 1910-11-23
Manon (Massenet): Ah dispar, vision  052300 141af
Favorita (Donizetti): Spirto gentil 052296 149af

Gramophone, Paris 1912-05-29
Elisir d'amore (Donizetti): Una furtiva lagrima 052373 02451½v
Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle 052372 02450v

Gramophone, St Petersburg 1912-6-24
Snow Maiden (Rimsky-Korsakov): Mighty Nature, full of wonders 7-22019 DA617

Gramophone, St Petersburg 12-10-10
Faust (Gounod): Salut demeure 022160 2060c

Gramophone, St Petersburg 1913-08-19
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): Viva il vino spumeggiante 2-52850 17823b
Manon Lescaut (Puccini) : Donna non vidi mai 2-52851 17824b
Traviata (Verdi): De' miei bollenti spiriti 022158  2062c
Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella  2-52852 17825b

Gramophone, St Petersburg 1913-08-21
Manon (Massenet): O dolce incanto 2-52853 7826b
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Se il mio nome 052410 2846c
Bohème (Puccini): Che gelida manina  052409 2843c

Gramophone, St Petersburg 1913-10-14
Pêcheurs de perles (Bizet): Mi par d'udir ancora 052417 2856c

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1914-10-13
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky): I love you Olga 022329 2855c
Ruslan and Ljudmila (Glinka): There is a desert country 022334 2853c
Rusalka (Dargomyzhsky): Unwillingly to these sad shores 022357 2854c

Gramophone, St. Petersburg 1915-10-13
Huguenots (Meyerbeer): Plus blanche que la blanche ermine 022338 2857c

Gramophone 1919-10-12
Boheme (Puccini):  Che gelida manina 022296 2679c
Dubrovsky (Napravnik): O give me oblivion 022306  2680½c

Gramophone 1920-10-11
Prince Igor (Borodin) : Daylight is fading away 022271 2543c

Gramophone 1920-11-11
Aleko (Rachmaninov): Romance of the young gypsy 022248 2545c

HMV, London 1921-8-23
Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky): Fountain duet with Maria Davidova 2-024000 DB753
Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky): Forgive me 7-22015 DA569
Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky): What is our life 7-22014 DA569

HMV, London 1921-10-12
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky): In your house 022299 2686c
Carmen (Bizet): Flower Song 022312 2689c

HMV, London 1921
Romeo et Juliette (Massenet): Ah! leve-toi, soleil 2-0302065 DB595
Werther (Massenet): Pourqoui me reveiller 7-32047 DB618

Gramophone 1922-4-21
Dobrynya Nikitich (Grechaninov): Flowers were 7-22008 Bb88

Gramophone 1924-6-24
Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky): Yet one more tale, the last, p1 with Konstantin Kaidanov 2-024001 C9260
Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky): p2 with Konstantin Kaidanov 2-024002 CP261

Gramophone, London 1925
Lilla (Rachmaninoff) DA752e Bb6597

Parlophon, Berlin 1929
Manon (Massenet): Ah dispar, vision P53400 2-21606
Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Whither, whither...Distant echo of youth P53401 2-21608
Sadko (Rimsky-Korsakov): Song of the Indian guest 2-21610
Dietro la mia finestra (Rachmaninoff) B23400 37956
Ay ay ay (Freire) P53400 2-21609

Odeon, Berlin 1930
Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia RA 207700 Ro 1185

1 comment:

  1. MOLTO BELLO!!! Thank you my friend for sharing this Wonderful notes. Thank you also for your Great Collection you have! I love your Rare Collections from FORGOTTEN OPERA SINGERS. Thank you and More Power, More Blessing ! and Have a Grateful weekend. *GOD BLESS*