Anatolii Borysovych Solovianenko


Anatolii Borysovych Solovianenko (25 September 1932, Stalino (now Donetsk), Ukrainian SSR, USSR - 29 July 1999, Kozyn, Ukraine) was a world-famous Ukrainian singer (lyrical and dramatic tenor) and public figure, People's Artist of the Ukrainian SSR (1970), People's Artist of the USSR (1975), winner of the Lenin Prize (1980) and the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine (1997), Hero of Ukraine (2008, posthumously), President of Ukraine's award "National Legend of Ukraine" (2022, posthumously).

Anatoliy Solovianenko was born in Stalino (now Donetsk) to a miner's family. During the Second World War, he and his family were evacuated from Donetsk. In 1949, he entered the Donetsk Polytechnic Institute, where he completed his postgraduate studies and worked as a lecturer at the Department of Engineering Geometry. All these years he was improving his vocal skills under the Honoured Artist of the Ukrainian SSR, outstanding tenor singer Oleksandr Korobeychenko, and took part in amateur concerts.

In 1962, he was invited to the Kyiv Opera and Ballet Theatre, and trained at the La Scala Theatre (Milan), where he won the Naples Against All Competition. Since 1965 he has been a soloist at the Kyiv Opera. In 1967, he was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of the Ukrainian SSR, and in 1975 - People's Artist of the USSR.

Solovianenko's repertoire includes 17 opera roles, many arias, romances, and folk songs. The geography of the singer's tours is wide: Bulgaria, Romania, the GDR, Japan, Australia, Canada, among many others. For several seasons, he sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he performed roles in operas by R. Strauss, G. Verdi, and P. Mascagni.

His performance of Ukrainian folk songs became a model of excellence for all subsequent singers.

In 1980, Solovianenko won the Lenin Prize, and he donated the prize money to the Peace Foundation. In 1997, he received the Taras Shevchenko Prize.

Among his best parts: Andrii (The Cossack Beyond the Danube by S. Hulak-Artemovsky), Faust (in the opera of the same name by Charles Gounod), Alfred (La Traviata by G. Verdi), Nadir (The Pearl Seekers by G. Bizet), Rudolf (La Boheme by G. Puccini), etc. World experts in opera singing recognised that Solovianenko's performance of the Duke in Rigoletto by G. Verdi was the best - the pinnacle of his mastery.

He was fluent in Italian. He believed that the Italian school of singing is the best in the world because it makes the most of the human voice[4]. Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti believed that Solovyanenko's skills were as good as their own. The life of Anatoliy Solovyanenko, a truly folk singer, beloved by the people, was full of continuous and intense work on improving his voice. In order to succeed, he denied himself the simple joys of life in order to reach the heights of his talent at the moments of the highest rise of his performance skills. He was one of the few Ukrainian singers, such as Solomiya Krushelnytska, Borys Hmyria, Ivan Kozlovsky, and Yevheniya Miroshnychenko, who helped the world learn about Ukrainian culture and the incomparable beauty of the songwriting of the Ukrainian people. Solovianenko perfectly mastered the so-called Italian style, masterfully performing tenor parts in operas by Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, and Mascagni.

He perfectly mastered the French style of singing and brilliantly sang in many operas by French composers, including Aubert, Bizet, and Massenet. He was particularly skilful in his performance of Nadir's aria in Bizet's opera Les Misérables. In it, Solovianenko's remarkable natural voice data in terms of timbre and character surprisingly accurately coincided with the performance canons of this role. Solovianenko's performance of the famous romance "In the Moonlight I Saw Her..." was strikingly inspired and lyrical, and the singer's soft, gentle voice seemed to float in the space filled with moonlight. Among the most difficult roles in his tenor repertoire is the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini's opera Tosca. In Solovyanenko's performance, this complex part sounded light, enlightened and lyrically insightful.

As Ihor Sharov notes in his book, wherever Solovyanenko performed, he would always include Ukrainian folk songs in his repertoire. "By performing a folk song on the stage," the artist said, "I am promoting it, I want to draw people's attention to it, and as long as I have the strength, I will not give up this task. Ukrainian songs are well understood all over the world. Every nation has a song that expresses the same feelings as ours - love for the homeland, for a girl, for a mother, for nature... No wonder they say that a song has no borders."

Anatoliy Solovyanenko was never a member of the Communist Party and never sang a single Communist song. He was a prominent Ukrainian, highly moral and honest, who reached the highest world heights thanks to his talent and work. For the sake of the Ukrainian stage, he sacrificed tempting offers from the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), and did not emigrate abroad, although he was promised fantastic fees.

On 29 July 1999, Anatolii Borysovych's life was cut short by a sudden death

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