pars media // films // Belcanto - The Tenors of the 78 Era // 12 Kozlovsky (1900-1993)

scene: The New Virgin Convent in Moscow. Ivan Kozlovsky’s grand-daughter Anna meets Svetlana Sobinova, the daughter of Kozlovsky’s great predecessor at the Bolshoi Theatre, Leonid Sobinov.

music: Wagner, Rachmaninow, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Lyssenko, Mussorgsky, Ukrainian folk-songs

analysis: analysis: È il sol dell’anima (Rigoletto, Verdi), ca. 1948

There are plenty of good singers. There are far few singers who are also good actors. But good singers who are also good actors and artists - they are very rare indeed. Only one is born every hundred years. Kozlovsky was first and foremost an artist. (Pitchugin)

Many of singers in the role of Lensky screamed out the sentence: "You are an unprincipled seducer!" Lensky was an aristocrat, though. Kozlovsky whispered these words. But they could still hear this whisper back in the fifth row of the Bolshoy Theatre because the whole audience lived the role with him. Kozlovsky kept to the principle: "The more you scream the less you sing." (Malakhova) More than any other tenor in this century, he followed on from Fernando De Lucia. He maintained the Belcanto tradition in certain formal elements. He used long diminuendi, he used the messa di voce, the upward and downward swelling of the voice. The residual effect of the Belcanto school apparently survived in the Tsarist court theatre long after it had ceased to exist in Italy. (Kesting) I don't know what Kozlovsky thought of Stalin. I once saw a certificate on the wall in his home. In it, Stalin thanked Kozlovsky very much for donating a big sum of money for the construction of an army tank. It was signed: I. Stalin. (Pitchugin) Stalin once said to him: "You can ask for anything you want from me. But I will not allow you to travel abroad." (Pitchugin)

He departed this life on 21st December 1993. He gave great light, and now his light is extinguished. May his name be praised. From the chalice of life he drank immortality. (Baboreko) If I have anything good in me, even just a little goodness, I mainly have Kozlovsky to thank for it. Nothing raises and enhances the spirit so much as music and singing. (Pitchugin)