Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Aug 21, 2014

Nina Koshetz (Soprano) ( Kiev 1894 - Santa Anna, California 1965)

She was born into a family of intellectuals in Kiev then moved to Moscow and became an opera singer. In 1908—13 she studied in the Moscow State Conservatory (professor of solo singing U. Mazetti), her piano teachers were N. Shishkin, K. Igumnov, S. Taneev). Having received voice lessons in France from the retired dramatic soprano Felia Litvinne, she sang leading roles in opera and performed in principal opera houses across Russia and Europe. In the late 1910s she performed at the Petrograd Conservatory and was accompanied by then-unknown Vladimir Horowitz . She had initially resisted being accompanied by the unknown student, but afterward insisted that only he could accompany her there; she subsequently programmed some of Horowitz's songs. In 1920 she went to America and joined the Chicago Opera Association where she sang in the premiere of Prokofiev's ‘’The Love for Three Oranges’’ (1921). She later performed for the Russian Opera Company in New York and on tour in South America. At the end of the 1920s she was active in France, where she appeared in the French premiere of ‘’Sadko’’. Known for her overly-extravagant life style, her vocal powers declined in the 1930s and in 1940 she retired to Hollywood where she made a living as a voice teacher and restaurateur (a venture that ended in bankruptcy in 1942). She also appeared in bit parts in several Hollywood movies. 

Chronology of some appearances

1913-1917 Moscow S. Zimin's Opera House
1913 St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre


Artistopia, 1916
Demon (Rubinstein): In the Quiet of the Night 221
Sadko (Rimsky-Korsakov): Berceuse 222

Brunswick, 1922/1923
The Fair at Sorochyntsi (Mussorgsky): Parassia's Reverie 50036 X. 8956-6
The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky): It is Midnight 50036 X. 8959-2

Victor, 1928/1930
Prince Igor (Borodin): Yaroslavna's aria 9233A CVE43726-2
Sadko (Rimsky-Korsakov): Berceuse 9233B CVE43727-3
Dobrynia Nikitich (Grechaninov): The Flowers Were Growing in the Fields 7111B CVE 51104-2

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