Galina Vishnevskaya est une Actrice Russe née le 25 octobre 1926 à Saint-Pétersbourg (Russie)
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Nationalité RussieNaissance 25 octobre 1926
à Saint-Pétersbourg (Russie
)Mort 11 décembre 2012
(à 86 ans) à Moscou (Russie
Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, Officier des Arts et des Lettres, Ordre du Mérite pour la Patrie, Artiste du peuple de l'URSS, Ordre de Lénine
Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya (née Ivanova, Russian: Гали́на Па́вловна Вишне́вская) (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.
In addition to the roles in the Russian operatic repertoire, Vishnevskaya also sang roles such as Violetta, Tosca, Cio-cio-san, Leonore, and Cherubino.
Benjamin Britten wrote the soprano role in his War Requiem (completed 1962) specially for her, though the USSR prevented her from traveling to Coventry Cathedral for the premiere performance. The USSR eventually allowed her to leave in order to make the first recording of the requiem, though.
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). Both she and Rostropovich were friends of Dmitri Shostakovich, and they made an electrifying recording of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for EMI. According to Robert Conquest, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stayed at their dacha from 1968 while writing much of The Gulag Archipelago.
In 1974, the couple asked the Soviet government for an extended leave and left the Soviet Union. Eventually they settled in the United States and Paris. In 1982, the soprano bade farewell to the opera stage, in Paris, as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. In 1987, she stage directed Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride in Washington, D.C. In 1984, Vishnevskaya published a memoir, Galina: A Russian Story (ISBN 0-15-134250-4), and in 2002, she opened her own opera theatre in Moscow, the "Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre".
In 2006, she was featured in Alexander Sokurov's documentary Elegy of a life: Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya. In 2007, she starred in his film Alexandra, playing the role of a grandmother coming to see her grandson in the Second Chechen War. The film premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In the last week of her life, she was awarded a supreme state honour by President Vladimir Putin.
Vishnevskaya died at the age of 86 on 11 December 2012 in Moscow.
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