Gmyria, Boris Romanovich
Born July 23 (Aug. 5), 1903 in Lebedin, in present-day Sumsk Oblast; died Aug. 1, 1969, in Kiev. Soviet Ukrainian singer (bass). People’s Artist of the USSR (1951).
Born into the family of a worker in stonemasonry, Gmyria graduated from the Kharkov Engineering and Construction Institute in 1935 and from P. V. Golubev’s class at the Kharkov Conservatory in 1939. In 1936 he became a soloist with the Kharkov Opera and Ballet Theater, and, in 1939, with the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theater. Gmyria was one of the leading masters of Soviet operatic art. His beautiful voice had a warm velvety timbre and a broad range and reflected his fine artistic taste. His performance totally blended dramatic and musical principles.
Gmyria’s roles included Ivan Susanin and Ruslan (Glinka’s Ivan Susanin and Ruslan and Liudmila), Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov), the Miller (Dargomyzhskii’s The Mermaid), and Mephistopheles (Gounod’s Faust). In operas by Soviet composers he sang such parts as Val’ko (Meitus’ Young Guard) and Krivonos (Dan’kevich’s Bogdan Khmel’nitskii). He also performed with great success as a chamber singer and performed abroad. Gmyria was the All-Union Vocalists’ Competition Laureate (1939); he received the State Prize of the USSR (1952) and the Order of Lenin.