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Evgeny Nesterenko Suggest updates

Evgeny Evgenyevich Nesterenko.

Born Moscow, 8 January 1938.

Died Vienna, 20 March 2021.

Russian bass.

Evgeny Nesterenko was a leading soloist with the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow through most of his career. While initially training as an architect, he simultaneously studied singing in Leningrad with Vasily Lukanin, making his debut at the Maly Theatre, Leningrad, as Gremin in 1963.

He joined the Bolshoi in 1971, and his repertoire included Glinka (Ruslan); Mussorgsky (Boris, Dosifei); Borodin (Konchak) and Prokofiev (Kutuzov). He also sang non-Russian parts such as Rossini (Don Basilio), Gounod (Méphistophélès) and Verdi (Philip).

Nesterenko made guest appearances in the west, including frequent visits to Vienna, Milan and Paris. He sang Boris and Gremin at the New York Met during a visit by the Bolshoi in 1975.

In Britain, he made three appearances with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden. His first role, in 1978, was the comic one of Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. a memorable portrayal. He returned in 1982 to perform in a rare revival of Khovanshchina. It was reported that the management had asked him to play Dosifei, his usual role in Moscow, statuesque and serious. But he had been singing Dosifei throughout his career, and begged the Covent Garden management to allow him to play the more varied, sometimes humorous, part of Prince Ivan Khovansky. Nesterenko was well aware that the Welsh bass Gwynne Howell, a regular at Covent Garden, was already an excellent interpreter of Dosifei. And so it happened, and he had great fun ogling his dancing girls before being despatched by an assassin's hand (this particular assassin being Bayreuth's Wotan, Sir Donald McIntyre).  The following year he reappeared as Méphistophélès in Fausti

Nesterenko does not seem to have performed opera in Scotland - he was not a member of the company that came over for the 1990 Glasgow Year of Culture celebrations, or when they  returned for the following year's Edinburgh Festival.

Accordingly it was a delightful surprise to have this famous figure putting in an appearance, when he was in his sixties, for the particularly well-cast millennium celebration in Dundee.

In 1974 he created the bass solo in in Shostakovich's Michelangelo Suite, and also recorded the work.

He retired from singing at the Bolshoi in 2002.  He had been teaching in Moscow since 1967, and from 1993 divided his teaching commitments between Moscow and Vienna.  He died in Vienna from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Roles in Scotland

Bass
Messa da Requiem 1999

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