Musical selection for the 120th anniversary of Sergey Lemeshev
Sergei Lemeshev - Soviet opera singer (lyric tenor), opera staging director and teacher - was gifted with a voice of exceptional beauty and unique timbre. Nevertheless, he would hardly have reached such noticeable heights only due this fact. Inner spiritual wealth allowed Lemeshev to approach the forefront of vocal art. The singer’s art happily combined brilliant vocal capabilities and deep content of his creative nature. He knew what to tell people. Theas are his words, “A man comes on stage and you think: oh, what a wonderful voice! However, then he sings two or three songs, and it gets boring! Why? Yes, because there is no inner light in him, the person himself is uninteresting, untalented, and only God put his voice in him. It happens the other way around: the artist's voice seems to be mediocre, but he said something in a special way, in his own way, and a familiar romance suddenly sparkled, began to twinkle with new intonations. You listen to such a singer with pleasure, because he has something to say. This is the main thing".
At the Bolshoi Theater, Sergei Yakovlevich often performed on stage when Boris Khaykin was at the conductor’s desk. Here is what the conductor said about his partner: “I have met and performed with many outstanding artists of different generations. Moreover, among them there is only one whom I especially love - and not only as a companion in art, but, above all, as an artist illuminating with happiness! This is Sergey Yakovlevich Lemeshev. His profound art, precious fusion of voice and high skill, the result of great and hard work - all this bears the impress of wise elegance and spontaneity that penetrate into your heart, touching the undisguised strings. Wherever a poster appears announcing Lemeshev's concert, for sure the concert hall will be overcrowded and electrified! The same way throughout fifty years. When we performed together with him, I, standing at the conductor's desk, could not deny myself the pleasure of furtively glancing into the side boxes, accessible to my glance. And I saw how the faces of the listeners were animated influenced by high artistic inspiration”.
For twenty-five years on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater, Lemeshev sang many parts in the operas of Russian and Western European classics. All music connoisseurs tried to get to the performance when he sang Duke in “Rigoletto”, Alfred in “La Traviata”, Rudolph in “La Bohemia”, Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”, Faust, Werther, as well as Berendey in “The Snow Maiden”, Levko in "The May Night", Vladimir Igorevich in "Prince Igor" and Count Almaviva in "The Barber of Seville" ... The singer invariably conquered the audience with his beautiful, voice of affectionate timbre, emotional poignance and charm.
The role of Lensky was the most beloved and successful in the repertoire of Lemeshev. He performed the part from Eugene Onegin for 501 times. It surprisingly corresponded to the entire poetic appearance of the prominent tenor. His vocal and stage charm, heartfelt sincerity, artless clarity completely conquered the audience.