Opera singer Dmitry Golovin under the heading "Desuete Names"
Dmitry Danilovich Golovin was a Russian Soviet opera singer, Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1934), lyrico-dramatic baritone. The singer was born in early November 1894 in Stavropol, in the large peasant family. As early as at the age of 7, the boy was singing in the church choir. Eparch Aafador noticed his cantatory brilliance and he invited Dmitry to live in his house, where there was a library with a large sheet music department. It was in the clergyman's house that Dmitry was acquainted with books and music of secular and religious content. Choral singing became his first musical school. In 1910, he studied at the Stavropol Theological Seminary. While he was teenager, he sang in church choirs in Anapa, Gelendzhik, Novorossiysk and Sevastopol, and had a side job as sailor in Novorossiysk and Sevastopol. Citation from the memoirs of his younger sister Antonina Golovina, artist of the Bolshoi Theatre Choir "...In 1912 or 1913 my brother worked as a sailor on a small Black Sea steamship, diligently scrubbing the deck and, being as open as the day, he sang ... How did it happen that on this steamship was Chaliapin himself? I do not know, on what occasion came up to the sailor, listened, and was surprised unspeakably...
- What's your name, boy?
- Mitya! - And yours? - The sailor answered with the straightforwardness of a peasant.
- And my name is Fed’ka! - replied Chaliapin. - "You should learn to sing, brother."
In 1915, Dmitry worked as a soloist at the Sevastopol Musical Theatre (under the pseudonym of Sokolsky). He served as a senior daikon and for some time lived at the Bishop's domicile in the Church of St. Andrew in Stavropol. In 1919, he played the title role of Demon at the Stavropol Opera House. In 1920, the Stavropol Regional Committee for Education sent Golovin to Moscow with the letter to the director of the conservatory, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatoire with Nazariy Raysky from 1921-1924. In 1924, the Bolshoi Theatre employed him. From 1928-1929, he undergone training course in Italy and sang in opera theaters in Monte Carlo, Milan and Paris. General Anton Denikin and officers of the White Movement, writers -- Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Ivan Bunin, Zinaida Gippius, Yevgeny Zamyatin and other figures of the Russian emigration came to Dmitry Golovin performances in Paris. This, naturally, was noted in denunciations of Russian diplomats to Moscow and was later included in the singer's charges before his exile.
Following the memoirs of contemporaries, Golovin possessed the voice of exceptional fullness, amplitude and opulence. At his heyday, in his late 20s - early 30s, the singer often sang in the manner that, perhaps, no one had sung before him. His vocal range seemed boundless. Not entirely the depth of sound that was striking, hence the facility and unconstraint with which he overcame all technical challenges. The singer's artistic temperament was equal to his vocal talent. When Golovin was effervesce, -- the stage, backstage and the audience were filled with a feast and unprecedented enthusiasm. The singer's repertoire included Boris Godunov (“Boris Godunov” by Modest Mussorgsky), Mazepa (“Mazepa” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky), Prince Igor (“Prince Igor” by Alexander Borodin), Shaklovitiy (“Khovanshchina” by Modest Mussorgsky), Escamillo (“Carmen” by Georges Bizet), Rigoletto (“Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi), Iago (“Othello” by Giuseppe Verdi), Valentin (“Faust” by Charles Gounod), Amonasro (“Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi). He was the first performer of the part of Sandy (“Trilby” by Aleksandr Yurasovsky, 1924) and Nagulnov (“Virgin Soil Uprising” by Ivan Dzerzhinsky, 1937).
Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1934), he was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1937).
However, as vocalist, Golovin also had failings. He was a very abrupt singer. He could carouse a storm of delight or, conversely, severe indignation. One day he sang brilliantly, the other day -- could stop in the middle of an aria or romance, point with hid hand to the throat and leave the stage, without finishing the aria. He could sing very musically, create appealing character, and he could let out a squeak in the places one would never expect. In 1943 Dmitry Golovin was leveled at accused of treason (at the end of the 30s, he was the forfeit of civil rights due to his stay in monasteries and studying in theological seminary) and subjected to repression together with his brother, who was accused falsely of murdering the actress Zinaida Reich that lived in the same house. The singer spent 10 years in NKVD special camps. They put him into solitary confinement that was hacked out in the rock. Strict security regime, hard work while forced-labor logging… Hence, the voice succoured him even there. He sang as a team of agitators’ member, though his health was undermined. The first city that sheltered him after his imprisonment was Ufa, then Frunze. His last resting place was the village of Suрsekh near Anapa (1958). While the singer lived there, he showed a lively interest in music education in Anapa, attending final examinations at music schools and addressed graduating students with words of encouragement. He could no longer sing. D. Golovin died in 1966 and was buried at the old cemetery in Anapa. The Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court rehabilitated Dmitry Golovin on November 25, 1965.
The recording of the Mazepa Ariozo "Oh, Maria" from the opera "Mazepa" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky performed by Dmitri Golovin is posted in the Sound Library to mark the birthday of the prominent Soviet opera singer.