"Legends of the Bolshoi Theatre". Vladimir Politkovsky

Vladimir Mikhailovich Politkovsky (1892-1984) was a Soviet opera singer, music teacher and professor.

In 1910 he entered the Law Faculty of Moscow University (he studied there for two years only). In 1910, the youngster passed the Moscow Conservatoire examination and was accepted with scholarship at the urgent request of Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, who realized the necessity to support the talented student financially. Vladimir studied under Umberto Masetti (1869—1919), who during two decades of tutorship in Russia educated a constellation of brilliant singers, including Politkovsky.
On the professional stage, the singer performed for the first time in 1917. It was in Nizhny Novgorod at the City Theatre as part of “The Russian Opera” project. He successfully sang the title role in “Eugene Onegin” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The professional career of Politkovsky started at the Theatre-studio of the Artistic and Educational Union of Workers' Organizations under Theodore Komisarjevsky,. However in 1920, he was invited to the Bolshoi Theatre, with which all his future artistic career was linked. The talent of Politkovsky, his boundless dedication to the theatre, his reverent attitude to music, and his insistence and self-demanding attitude made him an outstanding opera performer. He sang lyrical and dramatic baritone parts in the operas – “Prince Igor” (Igor Svyatoslavich), “The Queen of Spades” (Pavel Tomsky), “Dubrovsky” (Troekurov), “Eugene Onegin” (Onegin), “The Tsar's Bride” (Grigory Gryaznoy), “Khovanshchina” (Fyodor Shaklovitiy), “The Snow Maiden” (Mizgir). He also sang bass parts in the operas "Boris Godunov" (Boris Godunov), "Faust" (Mephistopheles), "Prince Igor" (Vladimir Yaroslavich). One of the most impressive roles that Politkovsky performed was that of Iago in “Othello” by Verdi. Cited from the memoirs of Nikolay Ozerov, "At the Bolshoi Theatre, Vladimir Politkovsky, endowed with beautiful baritone, most often performed with me as Iago. He so proficiently managed his voice; his performance was smart and presented one gradual crescendo, reaching its full force by the end of the opera. And the image the perfidious Venetian that he created burnt into one’s soul”. Politkovsky was performing at stage at the period when operas by contemporary composers appeared in the theatrical repertoire. He was among the participants in these productions. The singer was one of the prominent soloists in the Bolshoi theater. Sergei Lemeshev wrote that at first he was very nervous and uptight about performing together with Politkovsky.

Vladimir sang in concert halls as well; he performed as baritone in the symphonic poem “The Bells” by Rachmaninoff, in oratorio “Samson” by George Handel and in dramatic legend “The Damnation of Faust” by Hector Berlioz. The singer toured extensively throughout the country, and in the 1930s, he travelled with the theatre to the Far East of the Soviet Union.

From 1948, Politkovsky taught at the Gnessin Institute and later at the Moscow Conservatory (1951-1957). He was promoted to the rank of professor in 1957. One of his pupils, the Bolshoi theatre soloist, the USSR People's Artist, Arthur Eisen wrote in the article devoted to his teacher, "Being a genuine artist, Vladimir Politkovsky patiently, demandingly and persistently educated us, his pupils, in the spirit of boundless love for the theatre, careful, literally academic attitude to music, responsibility and accuracy in our artistic work”.
A selection of romances performed by the talented singer Vladimir Politkovsky is posted in the museum Phonoteque.

POLITKOVSKY Vladimir Mikhailovich // Okunev - Simovich. - Moscow: Soviet Encyclopaedia: Soviet Composer, 1978. - (Encyclopaedias. Dictionaries. Reference books: [in 6 vols.] / chief ed. Y. V. Keldysh; 1973-1982, vol. 4)
Tatiana Marshkova, Lyudmila Rybakova. Bolshoi Theatre. Golden Voices. - LITRES, 2017-05-20. - С. 1528-1536. - 1947 с. - ISBN 9785457517042
Maksimenkov L. V. Mess instead of music: Stalin's cultural revolution 1936-1938. - Yuridicheskaya kniga", 1997. - c. 262. - 324 с.