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|Year of Death:||1993|
Ivan Semyonovich Kozlovsky (Russian: ????? ?????????? ???????????, Ukrainian: ???? ????????? ???????????; also referred to as Kozlovskiy or Kozlovskij; March 24 1900 – December 21, 1993), HSL, PAU, was a Soviet lyric tenor and one of the most well known stars of Russian opera, as well a producer and director of his own opera company, and longtime teacher at the Moscow Conservatory.
Ivan Kozlovsky was born in the village of Marianivka near Bila Tserkva, the Kiev Governorate, the Russian Empire (now in Ukraine), and began to sing at the age of seven in the choir of the St. Michael's monastery. He went on to study drama, piano and singing (with the famous soprano Olena Muravyova) at the Nikolay Lysenko School of Music and Drama in Kiev. He also sang with his brother in Alexander Koshetz's choir in Kiev. This instruction was cut short after two years, due to the outbreak of the civil war in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Kozlovsky sang in a vocal quartet under the direction of O. Sveshnikov. His voice enabled him to join the army engineers, as a lead singer in a military band.
He made his operatic début in 1920 as Faust at the Poltava theatre, where he sang until 1923. He followed this with engagements at the Kharkiv opera in 1923-4, and the Yekaterinburg (then called Sverdlovsk) opera theatre in 1924-6, before becoming one of the leading tenors at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow from 1926 to 1954. He had a memorable audition at the Bolshoi in 1924, reportedly reaching the highest notes of the register with ease (throughout his career, he developed a reputation for singing the highest note possible and hanging onto it for the added adulation). At the Bolshoi, he came under the mentorship of Leonid Sobinov, the leading Russian tenor at the time. Kozlovsky went on to sing in over 50 operas as the leading tenor of the Bolshoi.