Artist Profile: Sergei Larin, A Soviet Tenor With World Renown

By David Salazar

Sergei Larin, born on March 9, 1956, was one of the major opera singers during the Soviet Union era to find success outside of his country.

He was born in Latvia and underwent vocal training in Lithuania, his opera debut coming in 1981 at the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre. From there he became a mainstay at Soviet theaters for the better part of the ensuing decade. But he eventually moved to Slovakia where he made a noted debut that opened the door for his Vienna State Opera debut.

In 1991, it was his turn to appear at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, which was followed promptly by his Paris and Met Opera debuts. He retained a major international career throughout the 1990s and appeared on several recordings.

He also appeared in the 1997 film “Love’s Debris.”

He died on Jan. 13, 2008 at the age of 51 after years fighting an illness.

Signature Roles

Larin was most recognized for his work in the Russian repertory, dominating as the Pretender in “Boris Godunov,” among other roles. He did, however, actively seek to find a way out of being stereotyped as a Russian singer who only does Russian repertory and retained a variety throughout his career. Among the other composers he actively championed were Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet.

Watch and Listen

Here is an album of Russian arias by the tenor.


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