Artist Profile: Russian Baritone Vladimir Chernov, Champion of Verdi & Russian Repertoire

By David Salazar

Vladimir Chernov was born on Sept. 22, 1954, in a small town near Krasnodar. He kicked off his training with Mikhail Chugenov and then went to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1982, he was sent to the Accademia della Scala where he studied with Giulietta Simionato.

He won a plethora of special awards in competitions throughout the 1980s, but his career really flourished in the late 1980s when, as a member of the Kirov Opera, he went to the Covent Garden.

From there he would appear at all the major opera houses around the globe, including the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, the Opéra de Paris, the Rome Opera, the Arena di Verona, and the Metropolitan Opera. He would enjoy a fruitful career in a wide-ranging repertory.

He also appeared in the World Premiere of “Il Postino” and the premiere performances of “Duarte’s Love Songs.”

After years as a singer, Chernov took up a post as a professor, becoming Regents’ Lecturer in the Division of Voice and Opera of the Music Department of the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. He is also faculty at Opera Ischia.

Signature Roles

The baritone specialized in the operas of Verdi with many of his greatest successes coming as the titular character in “Simon Boccanegra,” and Posa in “Don Carlo,” Miller in “Luisa Miller,” and Don Carlo in “La Forza del Destino,” among others.

However, he was always a champion of the Russian repertoire, making major debuts in such operas as “Eugene Onegin,” “The Queen of Spades,” and “War and Peace,” among others.

Watch and Listen

Here is Chernov in contrasting repertoire. First, we hear him sing Verdi and then we take a look at his Tchaikovsky.


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