The legendary mezzo-soprano of the Russian Soviet period, Zara Dolukhanova, died last week at the age of 89. Though she excelled in brilliant Rossini roles in the opera house, her greatest success was as a recitalist. Dolukhanova’s broad repertoire included music from arie antiche to Prokofiev and Stravinsky; unusually for Soviet-era singers, she often included Lieder by German composers such as Schumann and Wolf in her programs. She was one of the first major Soviet stars to appear in the United States, making her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1959. In the later years of her career, she made a successful transition to the soprano range; however, she is best remembered for the warmth and elegance of her mezzo-soprano in a series of studio recordings made in the 1950s.
Zara Dolukhanova sings “Oh! quand je dors.”