Russian opera singer Georgy Nelepp -- under the heading "Desuete Names"

Georgy Mikhailovich Nelepp (1904 - 1957) – Russian and Soviet singer (lyric-dramatic tenor). People's Artist of the USSR (1951). Winner of three Stalin prizes (1942, 1949, 1950).

Georgy Nelepp was born on April 20 in the village of Bobrujki near Chernigov into a peasant family. The singer himself said that almost three quarters of his fellow villagers were called Nelepp. Georgy Nelepp fought in the Civil War on the side of the Red Army, was commissar against desertion, then district commissioner for the tax in kind. In 1923, he was sent by the Komsomol organization to study at the Petrograd Military Topographic School, graduating in three years. Then he entered the Leningrad Conservatoire, where his vocal skills were praised by the then Rector Alexander Glazunov. The famous tenor Leonid Sobinov also predicted a great future for the singer. He completed the five-year conservatory course in just three years, graduating in 1930. As a student, Nelepp successfully passed off live audition for the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theatre and was accepted there as a soloist. In April 1930, the singer debuted as Lensky. The artist's first performance did not gone unnoticed by musical critics. The review of the greatest musicologist Ivan Sollertinsky was flattering: "Of the singers, we should first of all note the young tenor Nelepp, who debuted at the academic stage. This is a dramatic tenor... with a superb vocal material, singing his part with genuine and unstamped expressiveness".

His fifteen years with the Leningrad Opera brought Georgy Nelepp, with his God-given talent and enormous capacity for work, wide popularity. Music lovers looked forward to seeing his Sadko (“Sadko” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov), Richard in “The Masquerade Ball” and Manrico in “Troubadour” by Giuseppe Verdi, Raoul in “The Huguenots” by Giacomo Meyerbeer, Arnold in “Wilhelm Tell” by Giacomo Rossini and, of course, José in “Carmen” by George Bizet. In 1934. Nelepp made his first appearance as Herman in “The Queen of Spades” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and immediately became worshiped for this role by the audience and fellow musicians. In 1944, the singer moved from Leningrad to work at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Georgy Nelepp possessed a dramatic or heroic tenor. His operatic roles were dramatic, even tragic, yet he did not indulge any affectation, no outbursts, no shouting. The calm chanting of all phrases, clear articulation, opulent voice and, at the same time, the delicacy and soulfulness. The unique talent of Nelepp flourished at the Bolshoi Theatre, where he was invited a year before the war was finished, immediately becoming a principal performer of the leading roles of the lyric-dramatic tenor and favorite with the public.

The singer debuted at the Bolshoi Theater in October 1944 with Herman in the premiere production - the singer's crowning role, which originated back in Leningrad and always contained a mystery. His character embodied the theme of hopelessness of confronting fate. At the same time, there was nothing inherently doomed about Herman by Nelepp, nor was there any affectation or tensions, according to eyewitness accounts. "He was strikingly spiritual, and we couldn't help but believe that he was in love..." - Boris Pokrovsky will say of his Herman. The viewer sees a living person, loving, suffering, endowed with a fiery soul and a fervent imagination, and the character is perceived as developing. Herman, the crowning glory of the artist, however, does not overshadowed his other achievements at the opera stage -- his José in “Carmen”, Sadko and Levko in the operas by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Radames in “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi, Pretender in “Boris Godunov” by Modest Mussorgsky, Florestan “Fidelio” by Beethoven. The performance of Nelepp in Sadko became a classic example of Russian operatic art -- the singer was awarded with the Stalin Prize for it. The siren beauty of distant lands seemed to come alive in the singer’s voice. The descendants of Rimsky-Korsakov descendants considered Nelepp the best Sadko, and the singer himself especially loved this role, which he perfected throughout his creative life.

The premiere of “Aida” by Verdi became an affecting experience at the Bolshoi Theatre, directed by Boris Pokrovsky in late 1951, with Nelepp - Radames, who was the epitome of courage and heroism. The same year, 1951, he received a title of the People's Artist of the USSR.
Nelepp was always eager to record for the radio, and thus we have many recordings of opera arias, romances and folk songs that he performed revealing keen melodic touch and marvelous execution.
Nelepp died of a heart attack. He was only fifty-two years old. Georgy Mikhailovich was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery. His voice still enchants new generations of music lovers, bringing joy and solace.

A musical selection of the best opera roles performed by Georgy Nelepp to mark the birthday of the Russian and Soviet opera singer - in the museum Phonothèque.

Nikiforov M.V. Nellepp // The Big Russian Encyclopedia. Т. 23. М., 2013