Soviet opera singer (lyrico-dramatic soprano) and teacher
People's Artist of the RSFSR (1947). Laureate of the Stalin Prize of the first degree (1943)
Elena Kruglikova was born in the small town of Podolsk, Moscow Region on June16, 1907. She was the daughter of a handicraft shoemaker, a musically gifted person by nature. After graduating from school Elena was accepted into the vocal class of musical college named after of Anton and Nikolai Rubinstein without exams (since 1934 - Academic Music School at the Moscow State Conservatory). In 1926, having passed the competitive exams, she entered the Moscow Conservatory. Kruglikova studied under M. Vladimirova, the sister of the opera singer Valeria Barsova, and Ksenia Dorliak, from whose Conservatory class she graduated with honors in 1933. While being a student, she began performing on the radio, gradually expanding her repertoire and acquiring professional singing skills. By the time Kruglikova came to the competition at the Bolshoi Theater in the spring of 1932, her voice had grown stronger and acquired the evenness of sounding in all registers.
Elena Dmitrievna was enrolled as a trainee, and a year later, she became a soloist of the Bolshoi Theater.
In December of 1932, she performed in the youth play "Eugene Onegin", with deep sincerity, singing the role of Tatyana. Taking part in the All-Union Competition of opera singers in 1937, Elena Kruglikova chose to perform the story of the Noblewoman Vera Sheloga (the one-act opera “The Maid of Pskov” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov). The participants considered this piece as complicated and nonwinning. "Truthfulness, relatability, naiveté combined with great musicality - these were the distinguishing characteristics of the singer Kruglikova". These words belong to the connoisseur of vocal art Valeria Barsova, whose judgments about young singers were tactful and clear-eyed.
The next benchmark on the way to mastering vocal and stage skills for Kruglikova was the part of Elsa the opera “Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner.
Being one of the undisputed leaders of the opera troupe in the 30-40s, Elena Kruglikova participated in all relevant productions of the Bolshoi Theater, including the opera “Eugene Onegin”. The audience and colleagues as one of the best recognized her performance of the part of Tatiana. According to contemporaries, Ivan Kozlovsky considered her "the most lyrical Tatyana". The extraordinary femininity and lyricism distinguished the singer's artistic talent. She perfectly performed the role of Matilda in the opera “William Tell”, staged at the Bolshoi Theater when the Great Patriotic War began. Later the gallery of images created by the artist was replenished by Bela (opera “Bela” by Anatoly Alexandrov based on the story by Lermontov), followed by the Countess in “The marriage of Figaro”, Sieglinde in the opera “Die Walküre” by Richard Wagner, and the charming Masha in “Dubrovsky”.
During the Great Patriotic War, Elena repeatedly went to the front line with the group of artists from the Bolshoi Theater. She performed on the Mozhaisky direction of the Western Front in the winter of 1942.
Elena Kruglikova was awarded with the title of the People's Artist of the RSFSR in the year of her fortieth birthday (1947). The opera career of the singer ended in 1956. She began active pedagogical activity. Initially at the Gnessin Musical and Pedagogical Institute (1958-1959), later at the Musical College at the Moscow State Conservatory (1960-1976) and at the vocal department of the Conservatory, where she was the assistant professor in vocal class.
Elena Kruglikova had lyrico-dramatic soprano with a sonorous and warm timbre and an excellent chamber singer as well. Elena Dmitrievna included arias from operas in her concert repertoire (often those parts that she did not perform on the theater stage, for example, aria of Butterfly (opera “Madama Butterfly” by Giacomo Puccini), romances by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg, Pablo de Sarasate and old Russian romances. In addition, Pyotr Tchaikovsky romances -- “Not a word, my friend”, “Forget so soon”, “A terrible minute”, “Does the day reign” ... Russian folk songs sounded cordially in her performance.
Elena Kruglikova died on June 24, 1982 in Moscow and was buried at the Vagankovskoye cemetery.