Poltoratsky, Marko [Полторацький, Марко; Poltorac’kyj], b 28 April 1729 in Sosnytsia, Chernihiv regiment, d 24 April 1795 in Saint Petersburg. Singer (baritone) and choir conductor. After studying at the Latin School in Chernihiv and the Kyiv Bursa he was recruited as a singer for the imperial court by Oleksii Rozumovsky and brought to Saint Petersburg in 1745. He became a member of the court choir in 1746 and later its conductor (from 1753) and director (1763–95). His debut in 1750 with the Italian opera company, imported to the Russian court in 1730, marked the first time a non-Italian appeared on stage with the troupe, and is commonly regarded as the beginning of ‘Russian’ opera. He continued to appear as a soloist in Italian operas until 1770. His students included Maksym Berezovsky and Dmytro Bortniansky.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]