Kastorskii, Vladimir Ivanovich
Born Mar. 2 (14), 1871, in the village of Bol’shie Soli, present-day Nekrasovskoe, Iaroslavl’ Oblast; died July 2, 1948, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian basso. Honored Art Worker of the RSFSR (1939).
As a child, Kastorskii sang in a church choir. Later, he studied under the direction of his cousin, A. Kastorskii. He took lessons from the Italian singer and voice teacher A. Cotogni. In 1894 he made his operatic debut, and beginning in 1898, he was a soloist at the Mariinskii Theater (currently, the Leningrad Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet). Among his roles were Ruslan and Susanin in Glinka’s Ruslan and Liudmila and Ivan Susanin and the Miller in Dargomyzhskii’s The Mermaid. Kastorskii was one of the best performers of Wagnerian roles; he sang Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Hagen in Götterdämmerung, and King Marke in Tristan und Isolde. In 1907 and 1908 he participated in the Russian Seasons Abroad. In 1907 he organized a vocal quartet to promote Russian folk songs, with which he toured in Russia and abroad (Paris, London). Kastorskii sang on the operatic stage for approximately 45 years and appeared on radio and in concerts until his death.