Vitalij Ignatyevich Kilchevskij

Kilchevskij was born on October 11 (23), 1899 in the village of Lipnishki, Oshmjan district, Belarus.

He started singing when he was drafted into the Red Army, in an amateur soldiers' ensemble. He embarked on vocal studies late (in 1932) at the 3rd Musical College in Leningrad, and then at the conservatory with Sofija Akimova-Ershova (1887–1972), wife of Ivan Ershov. In 1933, Kilchevskij actively participated, together with P. Lisitsian and L. Lavrovsky, in the creation of a youth opera troupe. 1934–1935, Kilchevskij sang in stagings of the Opera Studio of the conservatory, simultaneously giving lectures in the philosophy department, another field in which he had a great interest.

In 1936 he graduated from the conservatory and became a soloist of the Leningrad Malij Opera Theater. From 1944, he performed at the Leningrad Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater.

1947 to 1955, Kilchevskij was a soloist of the Bolshoj, and in 1951–1952, he was the Bolshoj's vice director.

In the repertoire of Kilchevskij there were many lyric tenor roles: Vodemon in "Iolanta", Levko in "Majskaja noch", Lenskij in "Evgenij Onegin", Dubrovskij in "Dubrovskij" by Nápravník, Vladimir Igorevich in "Knjaz Igor", Alfredo in "La traviata", Duca in "Rigoletto", Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia", Roméo in "Roméo et Juliette" and the title role in "Faust", Gérald in "Lakmé" King (Orleanskaja deva), Vinchetskij (Mjatezh/Rebellion by Khodzha-Ejnatov) and so on. The most famous among his many roles was probably the Prince in "Rusalka" by Dargomyzhskij. Kilchevskij also gave concerts and went to tours abroad (Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, East Germany).

In 1941, Kilchevskij performed the role of the tenor Rollandov in the film Anton Ivanovich serditsja (Anton Ivanovich is upset), directed by Aleksandr Ivanovskij.

Acclaimed artist of the Russian Federative Socialistic Republic (1945). Member of the Communist Party from 1944.

The famous Soviet bass Ivan Petrov, reminiscing about Kilchevskij, described him as "a very artistic singer, who possessed a lyric voice that was especially strong in the upper register. When he would sing Faust or Roméo, where there are extremely high notes, he would reach them so easily and confidently, and it sounded so powerful, that it was a joy for all of us to hear."

Vitalij Kilchevskij died in late August 1986 at Moscow.
Reference 1
Reference 2

Vitalij Kilchevskij singsDobrynja Nikitich: Rastsvetali v pole tsvetiki

Vitalij Kilchevskij singsSozhzhennoe pismo (Cui)

Vitalij Kilchevskij singsRusalka (Dargomyzhskij): Chto ehto znachit?, with Aleksandr Pirogov
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording and his help in preparing the biography.
I wish to thank Igor Milner for revamping the biography, and for providing the Dobrynja Nikitich and Cui recordings.

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