|Year of Birth:||1925|
|Year of Death:||2010|
Irina Konstantinovna Arkhipova (Russian: Ири́на Константи́новна Архи́пова) (2 January 1925 – 11 February 2010) was a Russian mezzo-soprano, and later contralto, opera singer. She sang leading roles first in Russia at the Sverdlovsk Opera and the Bolshoi Theatre, and then throughout Europe and in the United States.
Irina Arkhipova was born in Moscow. Before switching to voice, she studied architecture at the Moscow Architectural Institute, graduating in 1948. She then studied at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1954 she debuted in Sverdlovsk, and was made a member of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1956. She became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1963 and was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1966.
Arkhipova was at the height of her career in the 1960s and 1970s, during which time she was an international star, interpreting both Russian and Italian repertoire. Her technique was irreproachable, and she had great expressive power. She has been compared with Christa Ludwig. One of her most celebrated roles is as Marfa in Khovanshchina by Modest Mussorgsky, as recorded with Boris Khaykin in 1972. At the age of 72, Arkhipova finally made a belated Metropolitan Opera debut in March 1997 as Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin.
She died in Moscow on 11 February 2010, at age 85.
Arkhipova was entered into the Russian Book of Records as the most titled Russian singer. Minor planet number 4424 was named "Arkhipova," in 1995.