Friday, May 1, 2015

Vishnevskaya, Galina Pavolva

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya (25 October 1926 – 11 December 2012) was a Russian soprano opera singer and recitalist who was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1966. She was also the wife of world-famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and mother to two daughters, Olga and Elena Rostropovich.
Vishnevskaya was born in Leningrad. She made her professional stage debut in 1944 singing operetta. After a year studying with Vera Nikolayevna Garina, she won a competition held by the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (with Rachmaninoff's song "O, Do Not Grieve" and Verdi's aria "O patria mia" from Aida) in 1952. The next year, she became a member of the Bolshoi Theatre.
On 9 May 1960, she made her first appearance in Sarajevo at the National Theatre, as Aida. In 1961, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Aida; the following year she made her debut at the Royal Opera House with the same role. For her La Scala debut in 1964, she sang Liù in Turandot, opposite Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli.
Vishnevskaya was married to the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich from 1955 until his death in 2007; they performed together regularly (he on piano or on the podium). On 11 December 2012, Vishnevskaya died at the age of 86 in Moscow.

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