Georgij Mykhajlovych Neljepp


Georgij Mykhajlovych Neljepp was born on April 7 (20), 1904 in Bobrujky near Chernihiv (Ukraine).

In 1930, Neljepp finished the Leningrad conservatory in the class of I. S. Tomars.

1929–1944, Neljepp was soloist at the Kirov; 1944–1957, at the Bolshoj.

Neljepp was also successful in concerts, where he sang Russian romances and Soviet national songs.

He had a beautiful, noble voice and great acting skills. He was also tightly connected to the Communist party, and used that connection against rivals.

In her book Galina, Galina Vishnevskaja writes about Neljepp:
How many moral freaks were born in the Soviet regime!

On our opera stage, there sang the remarkable dramatic tenor Georgij Neljepp. He was an artist of irreproachable taste and high vocal talent. His voice was of such beauty, youthful freshness, and sonority.

When I started at the Bolshoj, we were rehearsing Fidelio, and this is one of my best recollections of my creative life.

Before the Bolshoj, he sang a long time at the Kirov in Leningrad. He was a party member, received all the highest rewards and titles, and several times obtained the Stalin prize.

He had the respect of his colleagues, the love of public, and had amazingly a small cross on his jacket. He indicated that it calmed his nerves.

One morning, I waited for Nikandr Sergeevich Khanaev, who was in those years the director of the company. In the hall, Sadko was rehearsed, Neljepp was singing Sadko. I wished to listen to the rehearsal, as Nikander Sergeevich was late. I impatiently walked down the stairs located near the director's office.

A floor below, there was a cloakroom, where a woman was sitting silently. She was middled age and poorly dressed. Khanaev entered, and the usher on duty reported: Here, Nikandr Sergeevich, a woman requests to call Georgij Mikhajlovich from the rehearsal. She has already been sitting here for a long time, I do not know what to do. The woman told Khanaev: I have an urgent matter. I arrived today, please call Georgij Mikhajlovich. He does not know me, but I have an important message from his relatives.

Nikandr Sergeevich told me: Galja, tell the secretary to get Neljepp from the rehearsal when he is free. I made the request, and returned to my location. And here's what took place before all of us:

G. M. Neljepp, People's Artist of the USSR, laureate of Stalin prizes, the sleek, famous tenor of the Bolshoj, was getting down the stairs. The woman sitting silently rose and went toward him. He approached her: How do you do? She keept silent. You wanted to see me? Suddenly she opened her mouth, as she spat on him! Here you are, reptile, due to the fact that you ruined my husband, my family! But I survived in order to spit on you! You be cursed!

She turned around and left. Neljepp became white as chalk, and after leaning on the wall, wiped his face with his handkerchief and left. The usher did not know, where to look, whereas I ran away into a loge. Nikandr Sergeevich called me into his office. He told me: Well, you should not be disturbed. But Neljepp has ruined many in the time when he worked in Leningrad.

Soon after, Neljepp died of a heart attack. when he was only fifty two years old.

From younglemeshevist:

Neljepp is a mysterious person; it's hard to find information about him. There are no interviews or stories about him even on the Russian web.

He was said to be a very closed person. All that is known about his personal life is that he had a wife and a daughter.

Vishnevskaja wrote the truth about him – he did collaborate with the KGB. Neljepp started his career at the Kirov (Leningrad), where he had a serious rival – the famous dramatic tenor Nikolaj Pechkovskij. Pechkovskij was an idol like Lemeshev and Kozlovskyj. He was less precise as a musician than Neljepp, but more passionate and energetic on stage, and he was considered the best German.

In 1941, Pechkovskij was caught by the Nazis and had to sing for German soldiers for several years, though he also gave help to Russian guerrillas. When the war was over, Pechkovskij was jailed, and the author of the biographical book on him stated that Neljepp had written a report on Pechkovskij, stating that he had planned to join the German army.

It is hard to say if this was absolutely true, because the author of the book never actually saw that report.

Anatolij Orfjonov, a tenor at the Bolshoj, wrote that Neljepp was not a good man.

But the conductor Kirill Kondrashin liked Neljepp very much as a very hardworking and honest musician. He was easy to work with and was famous for his stamina. He could sing a lot without any damage to his voice.

Many thanks to younglemeshevist for this valuable information.

His repertory included: Grigorij, German, Sadko, Sobinin, Ljonka (V burju), Khlopusha (Emelyan Pugachjov by Koval), Manrico, Radames, Jontek, Jurij (Charodejka), Tucha, José, Florestan, Kakhovskij (Dekabristy by Shaporin), Jenik, ...

On video, Neljepp recorded Grigorij in Boris Godunov in 1954. He is also available on many records on Melodija.

Neljepp died on June, 18, 1957 and is buried at the Novodevichij cemetery in Moscow.
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Georgij Neljepp singsZhizn za tsarja: Ne tomi rodimyj, with Mark Rejzen and Elisaveta Shumskaja

Georgij Neljepp singsAskoldova mogila: Uzh kak veet veterok

Georgij Neljepp singsAskoldova mogila: Zakhodili charochki po stoliku
In RA format

Georgij Neljepp sings Boris Godunov: Vsjo tot zhe son, with Maksim Mikhajlov
In RA format

Georgij Neljepp singsBoris Godunov: Dmitrij! Tsarevich!, with Marija Maksakova
In RA format

Georgij Neljepp sings Boris Godunov: Dmitrij! Tsarevich!, with Larisa Avdeeva
In RA format

Georgij Neljepp sings Il trovatore: Ah sì, ben mio, in Russian
In RA format

Georgij Neljepp sings Pikovaja dama: Prosti, nebesnoe sozdanye (Forgive me, bright celestial vision)
In RA format
I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings (Pikovaja dama, Boris).
I would like to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording (Trovatore).

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