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Ivan Melnikov by Wesenberg (2)

Ivan Melnikov by Wesenberg (2)
Ivan Melnikov (1831-1906); Russian baritone.
He studied singing at the Conservatory of St. Petersburg with Gavriil Lomakin and in Milan with Repetto. He started his career at the Opera of Kiev (1865/67). In 1867 he made his debut at the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg as Riccardo in Bellini's "I Puritani". The first two years he only performed in Italian operas. Then he turned his interest to the independent Russian Opera, whose roles he sang from now on. Until 1890 he was a highly respected member of this leading Russian Opera house. He performed in St. Petersburg in a number of musically and historically important world premieres of Russian operas. In 1872 he created the role of Don Carlos in the premiere of Dargomyshski's "The stone guest" and in 1873 Prince Tokmakov in Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Maid of Pskov". In 1874 he sang the title role in the first complete performance of Mussorgsky 's "Boris Godunow". In 1875 he created the title role in Rubinstein's "The Demon" and in 1890 Igor in Borodin's "Prince Igor". He also created roles in four of Tchaikovsky's operas: Prince Vyazminsky in "Oprichnik" (1874), a devil from hell in "Vakula the Smith" (1876), Prince Kurlyatev in "The Enchantress" (1887) and Count Tomsky in "The Queen of Spades" (1890). In 1890 the highly respected artist ended his career with a performance of Prince Igor. During the years 1890/92 he was general director of the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1897 he undertook a last farewell tour. In 1906 he published his autobiography.

On the photo he is seen as The Demon in Rubinstein's eponymous opera.

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