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Galina Vishnevskaya

Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya (Russian: Гали́на Па́вловна Вишне́вская) (born 25 October 1926) is a Russian soprano opera singer and recitalist who was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1966. Vishnevskaya was born in Leningrad. She made her professional stage debut in 1944 singing operetta. After a year studying with Vera Nikolayevna Garina, she won a competition held by the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (with Rachmaninoff's song "O, Do Not Grieve" and Verdi's aria "O patria mia" from Aida) in 1952. The next year, she became a member of the Bolshoi Theatre. On 9 May 1960, she made her first appearance in Sarajevo at the National Theatre, as Aida. In 1961, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Aida; the following year she made her debut at the Royal Opera House with the same role. For her La Scala debut in 1964, she sang Liù in Turandot, opposite Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli. In addition to the roles in the Russian operatic repertoire, Vishnevskaya has also sung roles such as Violetta, Tosca, Cio-cio-san, Leonore, and Cherubino. Benjamin Britten wrote the soprano role in his War Requiem (completed 1962) specially for her.

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