Patorzhinsky Ivan

Ivan Patorzhinsky. Soviet Ukrainian opera singer (bass) People's Artist of the USSR

Ivan Patorzhinsky was born on February 20, 1896 in the village of Petro-Svistunovo, Yekaterinoslav province (now Volnyansky district, Zaporozhye region, Ukraine). His creative path was not easy; his whole life was devoted to music: he was born in a poor family, studied at theological seminary, took singing lessons in Yekaterinoslav with a teacher at the local school, was teaching at public school, served in the front-line team to perform for the Red Army soldiers.

In the early 1920s, Ivan Patorzhinsky created and later headed the first Soviet choir in Ukraine. At the same time, he was in charge of musical school for the workers' children at the metallurgic plant in Alchevsk. In 1925, the young singer debuted on the opera stage in Kharkov and soon became a primary performer there. Ten years later, he left for Kiev and in 1935, became a soloist of the Ukrainian Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Ivan Patorzhinsky was one of the outstanding representatives of the Ukrainian vocal school, who had a strong, flexible, expressive voice of velvety timbre and  bright artistic talent. The singer was particularly emphatic in character parts, comic and dramatic roles in the operas by the Ukrainian composers: Karas (“Zaporozhian beyond the Danube” by Semen Hulak-Artemovsky), village chief deputy, "The elected" (“Natalka Poltavka” by Ivan Kotlyarevsky), Cossack Korniy Chub (“Christmas Eve” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov), Taras Bulba (“Taras Bulba” by Mykola Lysenko), Gavrila (“Bogdan Khmelnitsky” by Konstantin Dankevich). Other parts are - Susanin (“The life for the Tsar” by Mikhail Glinka), Boris Godunov ("Boris Godunov" by Modest Mussorgsky), Melnik (“Rusalka” by Alexander Dargomyzhsky, Mephistopheles (“Faust” by Charles Gounod), Don Basilio (“The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini), Valko (“Young Guard”).

That was fascinating time of the national Ukrainina opera formation. Ivan Patorzhinsky dedicated several dozen years to the Ukrainian opera art and was rightfully considered one of the prominent basses in the time. Already in 1942, he was awarded with the State Prize of the USSR for the performance of the title role in the opera "Taras Bulba" by Mykola Lysenko, and two years later, the outstanding singer was awarded with the title of People's Artist of the USSR.

Patorzhinsky created the large art gallery of characters on the opera stage - personalities that differed in character, but invariably were vivid, bright in the actor's conception and execution.

No less recognition and love of audience the singer received for his concert activity. Along with the opera arias and romances, he sang folk songs with inimitable naturalness and expressiveness. While performing them, he seemed an authentic fairy-tale hero, a singer that belonged to his nation. He took the audience by storm with his singsong melodious velvet voice, with "cello" timbre, with his emotions.
In the post-war years, the People's artist continued his active creative activities, concentrating largely on training young singers. He gave classes at the Kiev Conservatory. Many future Ukrainian opera stage stars, such as Dmytro Hnatyuk, A. Kikot and many others, learned to sing under Ivan Patorzhinsky. Preserving his pupils’ individuality, Ivan not only taught them, but also developed their ability to "learn without imitating". However, it was impossible to imitate his art of siging -- so bright his personality was. Patorzhinsky left a large footprint on the history of the Soviet opera art.