Krushelnytska, Solomiia

Image - Solomiia Krushelnytska Image - Solomiia Krushelnytska as Madame Butterfly Image - Solomiia Krushelnytska as Salome. Image - Solomiia Krushelnytska in Richard Wagner's Longherin.

Krushelnytska, Solomiia [Крушельницька, Соломія; Krušel’nyc’ka, Solomija], b 23 September 1872 in Biliavyntsi, Buchach county, Galicia, d 16 November 1952 in Lviv. World-famous opera singer (dramatic soprano). Upon graduating from the Lviv Conservatory (1893), where she studied under W. Wysocki, she made her debut with the Lviv Opera as Leonora in Gaetano Donizetti’s La favorita and went to Milan to study under Francesco Crespi (1893–6). From 1896 she performed with most of the great opera companies of Europe and South America: Odesa (1896–7), Warsaw (1898–1902), Saint Petersburg (1901–2), Paris (1902), Naples (1902, 1904), Rome (1904–5), Milan (La Scala, 1898, 1904, 1907, 1909, 1915), and Buenos Aires (1906, 1908, 1910–13). Her performance as Aida (1903) was a triumph, and her rendition of the title role in Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in 1904 contributed to its admission to the world repertoire. Because of her and Arturo Toscanini, Richard Strauss’s Salome was a great success at La Scala (1906). In 1915 she sang the title role in the world premiere of Ildebrando Pizzetti’s Fedra at La Scala. Her operatic repertoire numbered close to 60 roles, including the title roles in R. Strauss’s Salome and Elektra, Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre and Isolde in his Tristan und Isolde, and the title roles in Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and Stanisław Moniuszko’s Halka. Many of the performances in which she starred were conducted by A. Toscanini. Krushelnytska combined a colorful voice of great range (three octaves) with a fiery temperament and enormous acting ability. In the mid-1920s she turned from opera to concert recitals. Her concert repertoire included works by Claudio Monteverdi, Christoph Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Mykola Lysenko, Denys Sichynsky, and Stanyslav Liudkevych. She enjoyed performing Ukrainian folk songs to her own piano accompaniment. Returning to Lviv in 1939, she taught solo singing at the Lviv Conservatory (1944–52).

Holovashchenko, M. (ed). Solomiia Krushel'nyts'ka. Spohady, materialy, lystuvannia, 2 vols (Kyiv 1978–9)
Vrublevs'ka, V. Solomiia Krushel'nyts'ka (Kyiv 1979)

Wasyl Wytwycky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

Image - Monument of Solomiia Krushelnytska in Lviv. Image - Solomiia Krushelnytska Image - Solomiia Krushelnytska as Madama Butterfly.

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