Sergei Lemeshev     (Opera Arias)        (Aquarius  AQVR 284)
Item# V1824
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Sergei Lemeshev     (Opera Arias)        (Aquarius  AQVR 284)
V1824. SERGEI LEMESHEV, w. Slutsky (Pf.): Tishina (S.Kashevarov – N.Khvostov); w.Pozen, Lev Steinberg, Makarov, Melik-Pashaev & Orlov Cond.: Arias from Snegoroutchka, Trilby, Eugen Onégin, Sadko, Dubrovsky, May Night, Raphael, Halka, Rigoletto, Prince Igor, La Boheme, Werther, Pagliacci & Faust. (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 284, recorded 1928-36 (incl. Lemeshev's first recordings, Harbin, Manchuria, 18 May, 1928). - 4607123630891


“Singing and rehearsals [in Harbin] began, and in a week the season opened….The theatre wasn’t large, seven hundred seats, always full. Not only the Soviet colony but other foreigners eagerly attended….most important was the high artistic level of the productions….If in Sverdlovsk I underwent training for professional preparation for opera, then the two new [Harbin] seasons gave me the indispensable on-stage experience. I didn’t want to stay here longer – home, Russia beckoned me….After the end of the season in March, 1929, I left Harbin for good….”

- Sergei Lemeshev, A JOURNEY TO ART, pp.92-115

“In Russia, Sergei Yakovlevich Lemeshev (1902-1977) is — along with Feodor Chaliapin — perhaps the most beloved opera singer in recent history. He was born into a very poor peasant family, in a small village, during the years of the Bolshevik revolution and the Civil war, and Lemeshev was required to become a cadet in the Red Army Cavalry School. It was, however, actually the Revolution that helped him make his dream of an operatic career come true, since the Bolsheviks gave the poorest peasants and proletarians a preferential right to free education. Sergei was assigned to study at the Moscow Conservatory where, after surviving a rigorous competition, he was accepted. (This determined his political views, for as he said many times, ‘the Soviets gave me everything’.) In 1931, he became a leading tenor of the Bolshoi, where he sang for the next 34 years, winning great acclaim. His audience grew, along with his fame, and he soon gained a veritable army of fans, called ‘lemeshevists’. His vocal and artistic qualities, evident to every listener, are beauty of timbre, musicality, effortlessness of vocal production, expressiveness, and very clear diction - qualities perhaps most commonly found in bel canto singers. An interesting comment on Lemeshev’s singing was made by the Bolshoi tenor Anatoly Orfenov: ‘He developed a mixed voice of incomparable beauty, which made it possible for him to take the highest notes with such beautiful richness that even specialists could not explain how it was done technically….His high C’s … sounded virile and full…His manner of lowering his larynx a bit on high notes allowed him to perform the parts which we ordinary lyric tenors did not sing’.”

- Natalie, "younglemeshevist"