Petro Serhijovych Bilynnyk

aka Pjotr Belinnik (Russified form of his name)

Born on the 1st (14th) of October, 1906 in the small town of Okhtyrka, Sumy district of Ukraine, into a peasant family. Had a great musical talent from a very young age. First he sang in his school choir, later participated in musical stagings with the workers of the factory he worked at. When he was 18, he organized a home singing circle whose repertoire was composed of Ukrainian and Russian songs, works of N. Lysenko, K. Stetsenko, M. Leontovych, and others.

From 1933 to 1936, he studied at the Kharkiv Conservatory (now I. P. Kotljarevskyj Kharkiv National University of Arts) in the solo singing class of R. S. Vajn. At the same time he participated in youth opera stagings. His debut was in Kharkiv in 1935 in the role of Berendej on the stage of Kharkiv Youth Musical Theater.

1936 to 1940, Bilynnyk was a soloist of the Bolshoj, 1941/42 of the Kharkiv Opera and Ballet Theater. From 1942, Bilynnyk was a soloist of the T. G. Shevchenko Kiev Opera and Ballet Theater.

Acclaimed artist of the Ukrainian SSR (1946). People's artist of the Ukrainian SSR (1951). People's artist of the USSR (1954). Recipient of the Order of Lenin (1951) and the Red Banner award (1960).

In 1951, he took part in the celebrations of Ukrainian culture in Moscow. He toured Poland, Germany, Albania.

He had a lyrical tenor of a beautiful bright timbre. His singing style was very refined, delicate, and profoundly lyrical. Among his roles were: Lenskij, Almaviva, Duca, Alfredo, Gérald, Vladimir Igorevich, Berendej, Dubrovskij, Jontek, Lohengrin, Andrij (in Zaporozhets za Dunajem by Hulak-Artemovskyj), Petro (in Natalka Poltavka by Lysenko), Levko, Kozolap (in Mylana, a 1957 opera by Majboroda), the Simpleton, Matjushenko (in Bronenosets Potjomkin/Battleship Potemkin, a 1937 opera by Chishko), Sergej Tjulenin (in Moloda gvardija/Young guard by Juli Mejtus), Jenik, Anatol Kuragin (in Vojna i mir/War and peace), Toropka (Askoldova mogila/Askold's grave by Verstovskij).

He also gave lieder concerts and sang as a soloist with the "Dumka" State Choir Capella, and the Bandurists State Capella of the Ukranian SSR. He was famous for singing Ukrainian and Russian folk songs and romances. For many years, he sang together with the great Ukrainian basso Boris Hmyrja (Russified: Gmyrja), mainly in the Ukrainian folk song repertoire.

He made several records of Ukrainian folk songs and arias from operas of Rimskij-Korsakov, Dargomyzhskij, Moniuszko, and other composers.

He died on the 14th of October, 1998 in Kiev.

Petro Bilynnyk singsEvgenij Onegin: Kuda, kuda vy udalilis

Petro Bilynnyk singsTsarskaja nevesta: Tucha nenastnaja mimo promchalasja (Threatening cloud has passed away)
I wish to thank Igor Milner for the biography.
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording (Tsarskaja nevesta).

Go Home