Menzinsky, Modest

Image - Modest Menzinsky as Tristan Image - Modest Menzinsky

Menzinsky, Modest [Менцинський, Модест; Mencyns'kyj] also Mentsinsky or Mentzinsky, b 29 April 1875 in Novosilky, Galicia, d 11 December 1935 in Stockholm. Opera and concert singer (heroic tenor). He studied at the Lviv Conservatory under W. Wysocki and at the Frankfurt Conservatory under J. Stockhausen (1899–1903). He sang first tenor at the Stockholm Royal Opera (1904–10) and the Cologne Opera (1910–26) and toured widely in Western Ukraine, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and England. A distinguished and versatile artist, Menzinsky performed leading roles in operas of varying style, from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, and Richard Wagner. He performed leading parts in the world premieres of Franz Schreker’s modern operas Die Gezeichneten (Frankfurt, 1918), Der Schatzgräber (Frankfurt, 1920), and Irrelohe (Cologne, 1924). He was also noted for his performances of lieder, including Mykola Lysenko’s art songs and songs to texts by Taras Shevchenko, and arrangements of Ukrainian folk songs by Denys Sichynsky, Stanyslav Liudkevych, Mykhailo Verbytsky, Yaroslav Yaroslavenko, and Aloiz Jedlička. Menzinsky was the first to introduce this Ukrainian repertoire to the West, in recitals and numerous recordings for the Gramophone recording company.

Derkach, I. Modest Mentsyns’kyi: Heroïchnyi tenor (Lviv 1969)
Kolessa, M. Spohad pro Modesta Mentsyns’koho (Kyiv 1976)

Roman R. Savytsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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