15 January 2008

Sergej Larin, 51, Russian Tenor Who Found Acclaim in European and American Houses, Has Died

Larin
Sergej Larin
© Jonathan Rose 2008
SERGEJ LARIN
March 09, 1956, Odzene, Latvia - January 13, 2008, Bratislava, Slovakia

Sergej Larin, a Russian tenor who found praise in European and American houses singing lirico-spinto roles as well as Russian repertory that included Boris Godunov's Grigory and Onegin's Lensky, has died following a long illness. Larin, who would have been 52 in March, died on January 13 in Bratislava.

Born in Latvia to Russian parents, Larin began studying voice at the Lithuanian State Conservatory following his graduation from the Gorky Institute of Foreign Languages. His professional opera debut came in 1981 as Alfredo in a Lithuanian National Opera Traviata. Over the next decade, the tenor went on to sing a number of Russian, Italian and German roles in Soviet houses.

In May 1990, Larin made an unexpected debut at the Vienna Staatsoper singing Lensky in the company's production of Eugene Onegin. Naturally persuasive in Russian repertory, Larin nonetheless largely focused on Italian, French and German repertory throughout his career. The tenor made his London debut in 1991 as Don José. The following year, he became a permanent member of the Slovak National Theater, but frequently traveled abroad: the 1992 Kirov tour to the Metropolitan Opera, found him singing the Pretender, Grigory, in performances of Boris Godunov. Larin's official debut with the New York company came in 1994 when he sang Cavaradossi to Maria Guleghina's Tosca. Puccini's painter would also provide the vehicle for his debut at the Paris Opera. The following season, Larin returned to the Met to sing Carmen's Don José and Don Alvaro in Forza del Destino. He reprised the role of Grigory at the New York house in 1997 and again in 2004.

Larin was also a notable presence at a number of European festivals and houses, including the Salzburg Festival, Berlin's Deutsche Staatsoper, La Scala, Firenze's Teatro Comunale, Rome Opera, and the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Other North American performances by the tenor included Samson at Houston Grand Opera and Samson, Pinkerton and Don Carlo at San Francisco Opera. Larin also notably took part in 1998 Turandot performances staged at Beijing's Forbidden City; his performance as Calaf, conducted by Zubin Mehta, was filmed and released on DVD.

Larin's catalogue of recordings also includes a number of recital discs on the Chandos Label, featuring the songs of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, Mily Balakirev and Mussorgsky. The tenor can also be heard on DG recordings of Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk and Mazeppa, as well as a Sony recording of Boris Godunov.

More information can be found at SergejLarin.com and the Associated Press.

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