Panteleimon Nortsov - opera and chamber singer, soloist of the Bolshoi Theater
“… At the last performance of “The Queen of Spades” at the Experimental Theater, a very young artist Nortsov, who should turn into the limelight, performed the role of Yeletsky. He has an excellent voice, great musicality, advantageous scenic appearance and the ability to hold the stage ... "
“... The young artist demonstrates an amiable combination of great talent with high degree of stage modesty and restraint. It is evident that he is inquisitively looking for the correct embodiment of scenic images and at the same time is not carried away by the external showiness of transfusion ... "
Such were the press reactions to the first performances Panteleimon Markovich Nortsov. A passionate, rich baritone of a large scale, charmingly sounding in all registers, expressive diction and outstanding artistic talent quickly promoted Panteleimon Markovich to the rank of the Bolshoi Theater best singers.
Nortsov owed his success on the stage to the happy combination of captivating, widely and freely flowing voice with delicacy and sincerity of performance. From his teachers, Nortsov adopted high musical culture of performance, distinguished by the subtlety of interpretation, deep penetration into the musical and dramatic essence of a stage image that he created. His undimmed, silvery baritone was distinguished by the peculiarity of sounding and was recognizable. The singer always strived for a balance between sound and word. His gestures were sparse and carefully thought-out. All these qualities gave the artist the opportunity to create deeply individualized stage images.
Today we are recollecting Panteleimon Markovich Nortsov, who was born on March 29, 1900. By an odd coincidence, on these days - namely, on March 29, 1776, the Moscow Bolshoi Theater was founded - a well-known philanthropist, Moscow provincial public prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov received a government privilege signed by Empress Catherine II, "for the opening of an acting troupe" and for "the sustentation of performances, masquerades, balls and other entertainments" for a period of 10 years. This date is considered the founding day of the Moscow Bolshoi Theater, in which Nortsov served as a soloist for almost 30 years.
During his first season at the Bolshoi Theater, Nortsov sang only one small part the opera "Sadko" by in Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov. In 1926-1927th season. P. Nortsov was a soloist in the Kharkov and Kiev Opera Theaters. He sang Valentine in “Faust” by Charles Gounod, Sharpless in “Madama Butterfly” by Giacomo Puccini, Frédéric in “Lakme” by Léo Delibes. Since the 1927/28th season, Panteleimon Markovich had been singing in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow until 1954. There he sang 35 operatic parts, including Onegin (600 times) in “Eugene Onegin”, Mazepa in “Mazepa”, Prince Yeletsky in “The Queen of Spades“, Mizgir in “Snow Maiden”, The Venetian guest in "Sadko", Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”, Frederic in “Lakme “, Escamillo in “Carmen”, Figaro in “The Barber of Seville”. Nortsov knew how to create true to life, full of emotions images. The stage impersonations of Nortsov stemmed from the happy combination of captivating, freely and naturally sounding voice with sfumato and groove performing. P. Nortsov is widely known as the prominent chamber singer as well, a perceptive and careful interpreter of the Russian and Western European classics. His repertoire included songs and romances by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Ferencz List and others.
In 1951-1962 Nortsov lectured at Gnessin State Musical College, since 1962 - at the Moscow Conservatory.
For the birthday of Panteleimon Nortsov, we have prepared a musical selection comprised of opera parts performed by the singer and digitized from gramophone records stored in the museum “Collection” Sound Library.