Nikolaj Nikolaevich Ozerov

April 3 (16), 1887 near Rjazan – December 4, 1953 Moscow
Nikolaj Ozerov was born near the city of Rjazan on April 3rd, 1887 in a priest family. When he was fourteen years old, he started to be educated at a religious school in Rjazan, and sang in the church chorus and played the violin in a local amateur orchestra.

1905–07, Ozerov studied medicine, then law, while simultaneously studying singing at the local music school. In summer of 1907, Ozerov transferred to the Moscow University (law school). 1909–13, he further studied singing with A. Uspenskij (until 1910), then with Hrihorij Alchevskyj. After graduating from the university, Ozerov worked in court while appearing in concert (for the first time in the small hall of the Moscow conservatory).

In 1912, Ozerov made his debut as German, then as Sinodal in an itinerant opera troupe.

1914–17, Ozerov lived in Vladimir, where he served as a judge.

In 1917, Ozerov appeared with the Altar Opera, managed by P. S. Olenin, singing Rodolfo. In 1918, Ozerov appeared with the Opera of the Moscow council of workers' deputies (new name for the Zimin Opera). In 1919, Ozerov sang Almaviva, Canio and Hoffmann for the the Workers' Union. Those works were prepared by the producer F. F. Komissarzhevskij and the vocal coach Vladimir Bernardi.

From 1919 to 1946, Ozerov was a soloist at the Bolshoj singing Almaviva first, then German, replacing Bonachich who was ill. Ozerov also appeared up to 1924 at the Nemirovich-Danchenko studio, singing in particular Ange Pitou in La fille de Madame Angot.

Ozerov has a flexible, strong, well-produced, musical voice with a velvety timbre. He also possessed strong acting abilities. He had a repertory of approximately 40 roles, including Gritsko (Sorochinskaja jarmarka), Duca, Stolzing, Cavaradossi, German, Grigorij, Golitsyn, Sadko, Kuterma, Faust, Raoul, José, Samson, Otello, Radames, Rodolfo, Canio, Finn, Don Juan (Kamennyj gost), Levko, Vakula (Noch pered Rozhdestvom), Lykov, Andrej (Mazepa), Werther, des Grieux, Éléazar, Pinkerton, Beppo, Lohengrin, Siegmund, Lenskij, Tandarukh (Abesalom da Eteri by Paliashvili), Manrico, Hoffmann, Almaviva, Alfredo, Sinodal, Vladimir Igorevich, Ange Pitou, Ljubishkin (Podnjataja tselina), Muri (Syn Mandarina).

Ozerov requently appeared in symphonic concerts, in oratorios, in Mozart's and Verdi's Requiem, in the finale of the 9th symphony, solo programs in the large hall of the Moscow Conservatory. He also performed on concert tours in Leningrad, Kazan, Tambov, Tula, Orel, Kharkiv, Tbilisi and in Latvia (1929). His concert repertoire included works by Gluck, Händel, Schubert, Schumann, Glinka, A. Borodin, N. Rimskij-Korsakov, Chajkovskij, Rachmaninoff, Vasilenko, Shaporin, Davidenko, ...

During the Second World War, he sang before soldiers of the Red Army.

Starting in 1931, he taught singing at the Bolshoj. From 1935, Ozerov was the director of the operatic studio of the Bolshoj, where Sergej Lemeshev improved his vocal craftsmanship.

1947–53, Ozerov taught singing at the Moscow conservatory (1949–52, he was the dean of the vocal department, 1950–52 director of the department of solo singing).

He died on December 4th, 1953 in Moscow.

His records (1929/30) are very rare, not more than ten are known. 1938–40, he made some recordings for the radio.

References:
A. M. Pruzhanskij, Otechestvennye pevtsy 1750–1917, vol. 1, Moscow 1991
V. Sletov, N.N. Ozerov, Moscow 1951
N. N. Ozerov, Opery i pevtsy. Vyskazyvanija vpechatlenija, Moscow 1964

Nikolaj Ozerov singsBoris Godunov: Pojmala ja siza seleznja ... Ljud khristianskij ... Kak vo gorode bylo vo Kazani ... Chto zh ty ne podtjagivaesh?,
with Vasilij Lubentsov, Dmitrij Marchenkov (Misail), Vera Shevchenko and Sergej Koltypin
In RA format

Nikolaj Ozerov singsBoris Godunov: Dmitrij! Tsarevich! (Grigorij's part only)
In RA format

Nikolaj Ozerov singsPikovaja dama: Chto nasha zhizn?
In RA format
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recordings (Pikovaja dama, Dmitrij! Tsarevich!) and help.

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