Sergei Iakovlevich Lemeshev

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lemeshev, Sergei Iakovlevich


Born June 27 (July 10), 1902, in the village of Staroe Kniazevo, now in Kalinin Oblast. Soviet Russian singer (lyric tenor); People’s Artist of the USSR (1950). Member of the CPSU since 1948. Son of a peasant.

Lemeshev graduated from Moscow Conservatory in 1925 and made his debut the following year at the Sverdlovsk Opera Theater. He was a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR from 1931 to 1965. During 1959–61 he was artistic director of the Opera Studio at the Moscow Conservatory.

An outstanding representative of Soviet vocal art, Lemeshev possesses a mellifluous voice with a warm and intimate timbre. His interpretation is distinguished by a refined sense of style and a precise and brilliant musical and stage technique. Among his best parts are Lenskii (Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky); Vladimir (Dubrovskii by Napravnik); Berendei and Levko (The Snow Maiden and The May Night by Rimsky-Korsakov); the title roles in Massenet’s Werther and Romeo and Juliet and Faust by Gounod; the Duke (Rigoletto by Verdi); and Almaviva (The Barber of Seville by Rossini).

Lemeshev is also a popular concert performer, whose repertoire stresses Russian art songs (including all of Tchaikovsky’s romances) and Russian folk songs. In 1940 he was filmed in The Story of Music. Lemeshev has made many tours abroad. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Badge of Honor, and various medals.


“O pevcheskom masterstve.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1954, no. 1.
Put’k iskusstvu. Moscow, 1968.


Grosheva, E. S. Ia. Lemeshev. Moscow, 1960.
L’vov, M. Russkie pevtsy. Moscow, 1965. Pages 204–28.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.