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MazurokIf you were in New York on July 7, 1975 chances are you were at the Met reveling in the visiting Bolshoi Opera’s Eugene Onegin. On the 41st anniversary of that performance, “Trove Thursday” shares a document starring Tamara Milashkina, Yuri Mazurok and Vladimir Atlantov

Russian-born impresario Sol Hurok labored to bring the Bolshoi Opera to the United States for years but he died a year before his organization Hurok Artists announced the group’s month-long visit to the Met in 1975. Six operas were presented: Boris Godunov opened the season which also included The Gambler, War and Peace, Pikovaya Dama and Molchanov’s Quiet Flows the Don, in addition to Onegin.

My recollection was there was a lot of enthusiasm about the Bolshoi’s biggest stars, most appearing in the U.S. for the first time. But other than Elena Obraztsova, no one had a significant Met career—Atlantov and Mazurok each sang fewer than 20 performances there and Milashkina and Yevgeni Nesterenko, the star bass, never performed with the company at all. In fact, I don’t believe Milashkina, Atlantov’s wife who was thought by some to be the poor man’s Galina Vishnevskaya (I like her quite a bit), ever sang with any American opera company.

Like the Pikovaya Dama with Vishnevskaya, Irina Arkhipova and Mazurok from the Bolshoi’s visit to Expo ’67 that “Trove Thursday” posted here last fall, this Onegin, while perhaps not to everyone’s taste, gives an excellent idea of the heyday of the Soviet Bolshoi, with Atlantov’s refulgent Lenski being particularly atypical—and thrilling.

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Bolshoi Opera at the Met
In-house recording
7 July 1975

Tamara Milashkina — Tatyana
Tamara Sinyavskaya — Olga
Tatiana Tugarinova — Mme Larina
Larisa Avdeyeva — Filippyevna
Yuri Mazurok — Onegin
Vladimir Atlantov — Lenski
Alexander Ognivtsev — Prince Gremin
Vitali Vlasov — M. Triquet
Vladimir Filippov — Zaretsky
Georgi Pankov — A Captain

Fuat Mansurov — Conductor


“Trove Thursday” offerings can be downloaded via the audio-player above. Just click on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.

In addition, Onegin, last week’s Gurrelieder with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and all previous fare remain available from iTunes or via any RSS reader.

  • Krunoslav

    I think you’re right about Milashkina, but she did appear with Thomas Scherman’s Amerucan Opera Society in a PIKOVAYA DAMA on Feb. 15, 1965 with William Lewis, Jennie Tourel ( as both the Countess and Paulina) , John Reardon and Russell Christopher.

    Odd that they should have done this work 7 months before the Met revived it (with Reardon as Tomsky) for the first time since the Mahlerzeit.

  • gustave of montreal

    Unforgettable Mazurok in Montréal’s Expo 67. I think he was also in War & Peace.

  • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

    I was at the “Onegin” (same cast) on June 27, and “Boris Godunov” on 8 July. Looking forward to hearing if my memories have held up. Thanks for this!

  • Camille

    A fantastic opportunity I would never have had the chance otherwise to have heard.

    It will be interesting to hear how Jungfer’s memories register or play out. Sometimes it will sound just the same; others, you wonder WHAT was THAT and what was I thinking? Funny how memory works out.

  • lrhonn

    I was invited to join a group going to Moscow in 1974. I was fortunate to hear/see at the Bolshoi, Pique Dame, with Milashkina, Atlantov, Mazurok, Obraztsova and Khaikin conducting. One of my great memories of opera. And since I did not know a thing about any of these singers and they just blew my mind.

  • armerjacquino

    Only just getting round to listening to this- terrific. Never mind a ‘poor man’s Vishnevskaya’- Milashkina sounds freakishly like GV, almost identical.