Elena Katulskaya (1888-1966)

was a prominent Russian singer (soprano) and teacher, professor of the Moscow Conservatory. Having graduated from N. Iretskaya’s class at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, she made her successful debut in the title role of L. Delibes’ Lakme at the Mariinsky Theatre. She performed a number of leading roles on this stage (including partnering F. Shalyapin and L. Sobinov). In 1913 she became a soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre and remained there until 1946. According to Kiril Kondrashin’s memoirs, Katulskaya was not only a wonderful and highly professional singer, but an absolutely indispensable member of the team and in later years she would often sing 5 performances a week, replacing indisposed singers. On the operatic stage she sang 46 roles, among her best were - Antonida and Lyudmila in Glinka's operas, The Snow Maiden, Volkhova («Sadko»), Martha («Tsar's Bride»), Queen of Shemakhan («The Golden Cockerel»), Violetta («La Traviata») Gilda («Rigoletto»), etc. Until her last years at the theater she successfully sang Rosina («Barber of Seville»). Katulskaya was a unique chamber singer performing for more than half a century (until 1958). Her extensive concert repertoire covered many different styles and eras (more than 700 pieces).