Obituary: Mariinsky Theatre Bass Nikolai Petrovich Okhotnikov Passes Away

By Francisco Salazar

The Mariinsky Theatre has announced that on Oct. 16, bass Nikolai Petrovich Okhotnikov died at the age 81.

For more than three decades Okhotnikov dedicated his life to the Kirov Theatre where he joined in 1971. He performed many leading roles including Kutuzov in “War and Peace,” Heinrich der Vogler in “Lohengrin,” Filippo II in “Don Carlo” and Gremin in “Eugene Onegin.” He was particularly well-known for his Russian roles including Susanin, Dosifei, Pimen and Boris Godunov, Konchak, Tokmakov, Kochubei, Yuri Vsevolodovich and Svetozar.

Okhotnikov’s versatile range can be heard on recordings of Russian operas produced in the 1990s with Valery Gergiev, among them “Khovanshchina,” “The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia” and “War and Peace.” The bass was also a performer of chamber music and was featured in a recording of an anthology of Russian romances, for which he sang all of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s romances for low-range voice.

Okhotnikov was also a professor at the St Petersburg Conservatoire where he taught the next generation of vocalists at the Mariinsky Theatre among them Alexander Morozov, Vladimir Feliauer, Yuri Vlasov and Vitaly Yankovsky.