Obukhova, Nadezhda

Obukhova, Nadezhda Andreevna


Born Feb. 22 (Mar. 6), 1886, in Moscow. Died Aug. 14, 1961, in Feodosiia; buried in Moscow. Soviet Russian mezzo-soprano. People’s Artist of the USSR (1937).

Obukhova graduated in 1912 from the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied under U. A. Masetti. She began performing as a concert singer in 1912. From 1916 to 1943 she was a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater, where she made her debut as Polina in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades.

Obukhova was an outstanding singer of the Russian school. Her voice, rare in its beauty and richness of timbre, had warmth, a full, deep quality, and a broad range. She combined vocal perfection with penetrating insight into her roles and a unique charm. Among her best roles were Liubasha in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, Marfa in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina, and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. Other significant roles were Polina in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades and Liubov’ in Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa. She sang numerous parts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas: Liubava in Sadko, Kashcheevna in Kashchei the Immortal, the Weaver in The Story of Tsar Saltan, Spring in Snow Maiden, and Ganna in May Night. She also sang Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor, Marina in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Amneris in Verdi’s Aida, Dalila in Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, and Clarissa in Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges.

Obukhova’s rendering of Russian art songs, Russian and Neapolitan folk songs, and songs by Soviet composers was marked by a fine musical sense and a feeling for the national character, style, and period of each composition. Obukhova was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1943), the Order of Lenin, and two other orders.


“Pevets liubvi i pravdy.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1954, no. 6.
“Dorogie serdtsu obrazy.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1958, no. 6.
“S iunykh let: Avtobiografiia.” Teatral’naia zhizn’, 1961, no. 24.
“Iz avtobiograficheskikh zapisei.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1962, no. 1.
“Iz vospominanii.” Sovetskaia muzyka. 1966, no. 3.


N. A. Obukhova. Moscow, 1953.
Adzhemov, K. “N. A. Obukhova.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1961, no. 3.
Volkov, N. “Obukhova.” Teatr, 1961, no. 12.
Nadezhda Andreevna Obukhova: Vospominaniia, stat’i, materialy. Moscow, 1970.
Polianovskii, G. Moi vstrechi s N. A. Obukhovoi. Moscow, 1971.