Musical selection for the birthday of opera singer Vladimir Kastorsky

Today's column "Desuete Names" features Vladimir Ivanovich Kastorsky, Russian opera singer, chamber singer and vocal pedagogue.

Vladimir Ivanovich Kastorsky was considered an adornment of the St. Petersburg Imperial stage.  At the beginning of the 20th century, the recordings of the singer’s voice were released by “Gramophone” and “Pate” companies, and in the 1930s, - by the first Soviet recording companies Muztrest and Gramplasttrest.
Gramophone records (with the emblem “Writing Cupid”) with full-sounding, flexible and having rare subtleties in phonation voice of the singer that was recorded, are stored in the museum Collection Musical Repository. Records digitized from these gramophone records are presented in our new musical selection dedicated to Vladimir Kastorsky birthday. All records were produced in the period of 1905-1909.

The lyrical bass velvet timber of Vladimir Kastorsky was combined with the advanced artistry. The singer performance was distinguished by the highest level of culture, expressiveness and exquisiteness. According to the recollections of his contemporaries, he was a perfect master of bel canto.

Kastorsky toured a lot: he participated in Diaghilev's Russian seasons, sang in many European countries. In the 1920s, he made a large tour to the cities of Siberia, the Far East and Japan.

Opera repertoire of Kastorsky consisted of 35 roles. Among the best characters that he created at the Mariinsky Theater were Susanin and Ruslan in the operas by Glinka, Miller in the opera “Rusalka” by A. Dargomyzhsky, Pimen in “Boris Godunov” and Dosifey in “Khovanshchina” by M. Mussorgsky, Prince Gremin in “Eugene Onegin” by P. Tchaikovsky. The singer was considered one of the best Russian performers of the Wagnerian repertoire.

After retiring from the stage, Kastorsky performed on the radio and in concerts until the end of his life. During the Great Patriotic War, he often sang for the soldiers/ The singer donated all of his savings to the Defense Fund.

For his creative work, V.I. Kastorsky was repeatedly noted with honorable awards both in pre-revolutionary times and in the Soviet period.