Sergej Larin (tenor)
Sergej Larin is one of the leading lirico-spinto tenors in modern opera’s world. He was born in 1956 in Odzene, Latvia. After graduating from the French language faculty of the Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Gorky) Institute of Foreign Languages he entered Lithuanian State Conservatory in order to start his vocal training under the outstanding tenor Virgilius Noreika.
While a student Sergej Larin was engaged as a soloist at the Lithuanian State Opera and Ballet Theatre, where he had a successful debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata in 1981. At that time Lensky (Eugene Onegine), Rodolfo (La Bohéme), the Holy Fool (Boris Godunov), Faust were the most suitable roles for him, as he possessed a natural lyric tenor. However, he also could be heard as Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio .
It was then when he often participated in the concerts of the Lithuanian Philharmonic’s Symphony orchestra under Juozas Domarkas. His repertoire had being enlarged by such masterpieces as Requiem and Masse in C-dur, “Coronation” by Mozart, Requiem by Lloyd-Webber (the premiere in the former USSR), Trionfo di Afrodite by Orff, Samson by Händel, Die Jahreszeiten by Haydn, Missa solemnis and the Symphonie No 9 by Beethoven, Requiem by Verdi. Furthermore Larin enriched this list with Requiem by Berlioz, Les Béatitudes by Franck, Glagolitic Mass by Janacek, Das Lied von der Erde by Mahler and Messa di Gloria by Puccini.
In 1987 Larin worked on probation in the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow. In 1988 as an indisputable recognition of his talent came the award with the title of Honoured artist of Lithuania.
In 1988 Larin took part in the new production of Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades in Bratislava. His debut as Hermann was very successful and he was immediately engaged as a guest soloist at the Slovakia’s National Theatre. The new stage of Larin’s artistic career was marked by important roles of Maurizio in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur and Gabriele Adorno in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. In 1990 Larin appeared as Don Alvaro in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino at the Budapest Opera.
In 1990 as a surprise came the invitation to the Wiener Staatsoper to stand in for an indisposed tenor in the role of Lensky. The success of the debut was so convincing that Larin was offered at once to make a contract with artistic agency Austroconcert International.
During his international career Sergej Larin has been singing at all the largest theatres of Europe, Asia and both Americas: the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Opera House London, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Teatro Colon Buenos-Aires, the Teatro alla Scala Milano, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Operа Frankfurt, the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Opera de Monte Carlo, the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the San Francisco Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Opernhaus Zurich, the Bayerische Staatsoper München, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the Teatro Regio Turino, the Teatro Comunale Bologna, the Teatro San Carlo Napoli, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Carlo Felice Genova, the Teatro Comunale Firenze, the Teatro Municipale Piacenza, the Teatrо Massimo Palermo, the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, the Opera Bilbao, the Edinburgh Festival, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Osterfestspiele Salzburg, the Münchner Opernfestspielen, the Ravenna Festival, the Bregenzer Festspiele, the Festival Chorégies d’Orange...
In September, 1998 Larin participated in a China-tour with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Beijing Dance Academy under Zubin Mehta, singing Calaf in the unique production of Puccini’s Turandot in the Forbidden City of Beijing, which was recorded “live” for release on CD, VHS and DVD and has been described as the largest cultural event in modern China.
In 2001 he made his long-awaited debut at the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino.
Larin’s repertoire includes lirico-spinto roles in almost all well-known operas of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. Nowadays he pays less attention both to belcanto (Bellini’s Norma) or modern (Schostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mzsensk) operas, and to those by Mozart (Idomeneo). His voice sounds ideally in the operas such as Verdi’s Otello, Aida, Un Ballo di Maschera, Don Carlo, La Forza del Destino, Simon Boccanegra, Luisa Miller, Macbeth, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, Manon Lescaut, Toska, Turandot, Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Giordano’s Fedora, Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, Bizet’s Carmen, Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hofmann, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegine, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov… There are some rarities as Dvořák’s Rusalka, Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini and Rachmaninov’s The Miserly Knight and Franceska da Rimini in his repertoire.
The tenor is quite active as a recitalist and concert performer. He has being successful at the Wiener Musikverein, the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg, the Berliner Philarmonie, the Schauspielhaus Berlin, the Münchner Philarmonie, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, the Semperoper Dresden, the Concergebouw Amsterdam, the Suntory Hall Tokyo, the Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, the Albert Hall London, the Royal Festival Hall London, the Wigmore Hall London, the Barbican Hall London, the Avery Fisher Hall New York, the Brucknerhaus Linz, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, the Athens Concert Hall, the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic’s Great Hall, the Moscow State Conservatoire’s Great Hall, the Tchaikovsky’s Concert Hall, Moscow.
He has being invited by the New York Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orkest, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande de Genève, the Münchner Philharmoniker, the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester, the Orchestra Filarmonica La Scala, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra…
Larin worked with famous conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Lamberto Gardelli, Riccardo Chailly, Myun-Whun Chung, Zubin Mehta, Neeme Järvi, Georges Prêtre, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Semyon Bichkov, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Antonio Pappano, Pinchas Steinberg, Charles Dutoit, Herbert Kegel, Christoph Eschenbach…
Larin’s recordings are mainly devoted to Russian music. Thus he expresses love for his native country and pays the honours to Russian culture. He has recorded several Recital-CDs with the pianist Eleonora Beckova (romances by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, songs by The Mighty Handful’s composers, the cycle Songs and Dances of Death by Mussorgsky) and the CD Russian Arias with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Gennady Rozhdestvensky for CHANDOS. The unprecedented set of three CDs (Dream, Romance and Eternity), recorded for CHANDOS, represents the genuine anthology of the Western poets’ lyrics in Russian music.
The singer has recorded Scriabin’s Symphony No 1(the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Vladimir Ashenazy) for DECCA, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (the Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado) for SONY Classical, Rachmaninov’s The Miserly Knight and Francesca da Rimini, Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa (the Gothenburg Symphonie Orchestra, Neeme Järvi), Schostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mzensk (the Orchestre de l’Opéra Bastille, Myun-Whun Chung) and Rachmaninov’s The Bells (the Russian National Orchestra, Mikhail Pletnev) for DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
He recorded recently Italian, French and German opera arias on the CD Portrait (the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ivan Anguelov) for ARTE NOVA CLASSICS and great scenes from Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades (the Philharmonia of Russia, Constantine Orbelian) for DELOS.
In 1995 The Giuseppe Verdi Society in Parma rewarded Sergej Larin with the Verdi’s Golden Medal. In 2001 in Piacenza he received the Luigi Illica Prize for devotion to opera. Larin has been the first Russian singer to be honoured with these prestigious opera awards.
The singer’s repertoire directs its steps towards heroic roles. In 2003 Larin is making his debut as Otello at the San Diego Opera. Now he is refining the special artistic qualities as to reveal his mastery in the field of the German classical opera. In 2003 he is planning to appear as Bacchus in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin.
Côté ténors… se hissent au niveau du Hermann de Sergei Larin… Ce joueur impénitent porte tous les malheurs de la Russie millénaire.
Le Figaro, France,
Engaging Sergej Larin proved an immense stroke of good fortune. In his most winning appearance here, the Russian tenor found the glinting heroic heft for the opening act, yet he offered a most credibly smitten sinner in Dalila's digs. Yet it was as the blinded, enfeebled Samson ("Vois, ma misere, helas") that Larin's exquisitely modulated vocalism, a portrait of humanity in extremis, transcended the opera's musty conventions.
SF Chronicle, USA
Sergey Larin proved a surprisingly persuasive Samson, one capable of both glinting heroic tenor postures and muted eloquence in the mill scene.
Ларин не боится быть собой и достиг всемирного признания именно как Ларин, никому не подражая. Его искусство производит впечатление законченного, стройного архитектурного сооружения. Это очень умное, тонкое, рациональное пение, где просчитан и выверен каждый нюанс.
Русский журнал, Russia
…le ténor letton Sergei Larin, acteur et chanteur bouleversant.
Le Figaro, France
Sergej Larin, a regular at the Metropolitan Opera and the Paris Opera …one of the most intelligent tenors I know, and one of just eight or 10 people in the world who can sing the role the way it should be sung.
IN MEMORIAM www.sergejlarin.com