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Leonid Vitalyevich Sobinov (Russian: Леони́д Вита́льевич Со́бинов, June 7 1872 – October 14, 1934), was an acclaimed Imperial Russian operatic tenor. His fame continued unabated into the Soviet era, and he was made a People's Artist of the RSFSR in 1923. Sobinov's voice was lyrical in size and tone, and it was employed with discerning taste and excellent musicianship.
Leonid Sobinov was born in Yaroslavl, into the family of the lower middle-class trade officer Vitaly Vasilyevich Sobinov. The period of his childhood was apparently happy and calm. Sobinov's mother, who died early, was a keen singer, and due to her inspiration, he began singing himself. In 1881, at the age of nine, he entered a boys' school, graduating in 1890 with a silver medal. As a schoolboy, he had played the guitar as well as joining a local choir.
Sobinov enrolled in a university course in Moscow. This led to a degree in law, which he received in 1894. After university, Sobinov performed military service and then began to practice law. He also studied singing in Moscow with professors Alexander Dodonov and Alexandra Santagano Gorchakova, who, in 1897, suggested that he attend an audition at the city's Bolshoi Theatre. He did well at the audition, obtaining a Bolshoi contract for an initial period of two years. This contract would lay the foundation for a subsequent singing career of extraordinary success.