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Antonina Vasilʹevna Nezhdanova

Antonina Vasilievna Nezhdanova (Russian: Антони́на Васи́льевна Нежда́нова, 16 June [O.S. 4 June] 1873 – 26 June 1950), was a Russian lyric coloratura soprano. An outstanding opera singer, she represented the Russian vocal school at its best.

Nezhdanova was born in Kryva Balka, near Odessa, Ukraine, then in the Russian Empire. In 1899, she entered the Moscow Conservatory. Upon her graduation three years later she joined the Bolshoi Theatre, rapidly becoming its leading soprano. She often sang, too, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and also in Kiev and Odessa. Paris heard her in 1912, when she appeared opposite the great tenor Enrico Caruso and Caruso's baritone equivalent, Titta Ruffo.

Nezhdanova was the dedicatee of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, and she was the first performer of the arrangement for soprano and orchestra, with Serge Koussevitzky conducting. She created a number of operatic roles. After the 1917 Russian Revolution she stayed on at the Bolshoi, unlike some of her fellow opera singers, who left their native country for the West. In 1936, she began to teach singing in Moscow and was appointed a professor at the city's conservatory in 1943.

She was married to the conductor Nikolai Golovanov and died in Moscow in 1950.

Nezhdanova made a number of recordings that display the beauty and flexibility of her voice and the excellence of her technique. She is considered by opera historians and critics to have been one of the finest sopranos of the 20th century.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1873 (Odessa), Died 1950 (Moscow)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1908

Roles Represented in DAHR: soprano vocal

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Gramophone 7220L 10-in. 1908 Pesnya rybki (Ditya moe, ostansya zdes) Antonina Vasilʹevna Nezhdanova Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Nezhdanova, Antonina Vasilʹevna," accessed June 2, 2023,

Nezhdanova, Antonina Vasilʹevna. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from

"Nezhdanova, Antonina Vasilʹevna." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 2 June 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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