Osip Petrov

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Osip Petrov; portrait by
Sergey Zaryanko (1849)

Osip Afanasievich Petrov (Russian: Осип Афанасиевич Петров, 15 November [O.S. 3 November] 1806 – 12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1878) was a Russian operatic bass-baritone of great range and renown, whose career centred on St Petersburg.


Osip Petrov was born in Yelisavetgrad (now Kropyvnytskyi) in Ukraine, then part of Russia. He started his career by singing in a church chorus. Petrov then worked in Russian provincial theaters (including Poltava, where he worked together with Mikhail Shchepkin).

From 1830 until his death in 1878 he worked for the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. His career was one triumph after another, and he created a number of important roles in Russian operas, by composers such as Dargomyzhsky, Glinka, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Anton Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky and others.

His 50th anniversary as a singer was the cause for national celebration. On 21 April 1876, on the stage of the Maryinsky Theatre, he was presented with a gold medal, the personal gift of Tsar Alexander II. The President of the Russian Musical Society, the Tsar's uncle, Grand Duke Konstantin, presented an address in his honour. Messages from all over Russia were read out. Then he was presented with a wreath made of 100 gold leaves studded with diamonds, one leaf for each of the 100 operas in which he had sung.[1] Tchaikovsky wrote a Cantata (Hymn) on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 50th Jubilee of the Singer Osip Afanasievich Petrov, for tenor, chorus and orchestra, with words by Nikolay Nekrasov. This was performed at the St Petersburg Conservatory on 6 May 1876, under the conductor Karl Davydov.[2]

Petrov's 52-year career continued until the night before he died.

His wife was a Russian operatic contralto, Anna Vorobyova.

Performance repertoire[edit]

He created the following roles:


  1. ^ Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed, 1954, Petrov, Ossip Athanasievich [sic], Vol. VI, p. 693
  2. ^ John Warrack, Tchaikovsky, Comprehensive List of Works: Choral Works, p. 273
  3. ^ Two “Ivan Susanin”, article from Viktor Korshikov’s book (Russian: Виктор Коршиков «Два “Ивана Сусанина”»)

External links[edit]