|Year of Birth:||1902|
|Year of Death:||1977|
Sergei Yakovlevich Lemeshev (Russian: Серге́й Я́ковлевич Ле́мешев, born July 10 1902, Staroye Knyazevo, Tver Governorate – died June 26, 1977, Moscow) was one of the most well-known and beloved Russian operatic lyric tenors.
Lemeshev was born into a peasant family, and his father wanted him to become a cobbler. In 1914, he left a parish school and was sent to be trained to make shoes in St Petersburg. In 1917, he graduated from school in Tver, where he received vocal training. He began first at a local workers' club and later moved to Moscow.
Between 1921 and 1925, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Nazari Raisky. In 1924, he sang in the opera studio of Konstantin Stanislavsky. From 1926 and 1931, he sang in the theatres of Sverdlovsk, Harbin, and Tbilisi.
In 1931 Lemeshev was invited to the Bolshoi Theatre, made his debut and eventually became the theatre's soloist. His lyrical tenor of an unusually soft and light timbre almost at once brought him love and popularity among admirers of the operatic art. Nevertheless, Lemeshev was a great worker and worked hard to develop each of his opera roles. His vocal and artistic qualities, evident to every listener, are beauty of timbre, musicality, effortlessness of vocal production, expressiveness, very clear diction and incredible pianissimo. The best years of his operatic career were from 1931 to 1942. He was also an outstanding concert singer and a brilliant performer of traditional Russian folk songs. In 1938, he became the first artist to sing all 100 romances by Tchaikovsky in 5 concerts. Folk songs broadcast on the radio further sealed his stature as a truly national singer.