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|Year of Death:||1992|
Mark Osipovich Reizen, also Reisen or Reyzen (Russian: Марк Осипович Рейзен, 3 July 1895 – November 25, 1992), PAU, was a leading Soviet opera singer with a beautiful and expansive bass voice.
Reizen was born into a Jewish family of mine workers in 1895 at Zaitsevo village in Ekaterinoslav province (now Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine). He had four brothers and a sister, and all were trained in music, playing mandolin, guitar, balalaika and accordion. He served as a soldier in the First World War. He studied engineering at the Kharkiv Politechnic, and also voice at the Kharkiv Conservatory with the Italian professor Federico Bugamelli in 1919–1920. He debuted at the Kharkiv Opera in 1921 as Pimen in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, and in 1925 moved to the Mariinsky Theatre in Leningrad. Reizen toured Europe performing in Paris, Berlin, Monte Carlo and London in 1929–1930.
A tall man commanding a strong stage presence, he joined the Bolshoi Theatre in 1930, remaining there as a principal bass until his retirement in 1954. Among his roles were: Ivan Susanin and Ruslan in the two Glinka operas, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini, Mephistopheles in Faust by Gounod, Prince Gremin in Evgeny Onegin by Tchaikovsky, Salieri in Mozart and Salieri and the Viking guest in Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov, the old gypsy in Aleko by Rachmaninoff, Wotan in Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs, Konchak in Prince Igor by Borodin, Philip II and Procida in Verdi's two French grand operas, and so on. He became a particularly memorable interpreter of Boris and Dosifey in the two greatest operas of Mussorgsky (Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina).