Mark Osipovich Reizen

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Mark Osipovich Reizen

Russian: Марк Осипович Рейзен
Also Known As: "Reisen", "Reyzen"
Birthplace: Zaitseve, then Ekaterinoslav province, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
Death: November 25, 1992 (97)
Moscow, Soviet Union (USSR)
Place of Burial: Moscow, Russia
Immediate Family:

Son of Osip Matveyevich Reizen
Husband of Рашель Анатольевна Reizen
Father of Татьяна Марковна Reizen

Occupation: leading Ukrainian-born Soviet operatic bass
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mark Osipovich Reizen

Mark Osipovich Reizen, also Reisen or Reyzen (Russian: Марк Осипович Рейзен, 3 July 1895 Ukraine – November 25, 1992) was a leading Ukrainian-born Soviet opera singer with a beautiful and expansive bass voice.

Reizen was born into a Jewish family of mine workers in 1895 at Zaitsevo village in Ekaterinoslav province (now Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine). He had four brothers and a sister, and all were trained in music, playing mandolin, guitar, balalaika and accordion. He served as a soldier in the First World War. He studied engineering at the Kharkiv Politechnic, and also voice at the Kharkiv Conservatory with the Italian professor Federico Bugamelli in 1919–1920. He debuted at the Kharkiv Opera in 1921 as Pimen in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, and in 1925 moved to the Mariinsky Theatre in Leningrad. Reizen toured Europe performing in Paris, Berlin, Monte Carlo and London in 1929–1930.

A tall man commanding a strong stage presence, he joined the Bolshoi Theatre in 1930, remaining there as a principal bass until his retirement in 1954. Among his roles were: Ivan Susanin and Ruslan in the two Glinka operas, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini), Mephistopheles in Faust by Gounod), Prince Gremin in Evgeny Onegin by Tchaikovsky), Salieri in Mozart and Salieri and the Viking guest in Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov, the old gypsy in Aleko by Rachmaninov), Wotan in Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs, Konchak in Prince Igor by Borodin), Philip II and Procida in Verdi's two French grand operas, and so on. He became a particularly memorable interpreter of Boris and Dosifey in the two greatest operas of Mussorgsky (Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina).

In 1967 he began teaching, and became a professor at Moscow's Gnessin Institute. He gave an important recital for his 80th birthday, and for his 90th sang Prince Gremin (in Evgeny Onegin) at the Bolshoi in Moscow in July 1985. On both occasions, his voice sounded remarkably preserved. He is the oldest performing opera singer, according to the Guinness World Records.

Reizen died of a stroke in 1992 in Moscow at the age of 97. He is considered the greatest Russian bass since the days of Lev Sibiriakov (1869–1942) and Fyodor Chaliapin (1873–1938), and the possessor of one of the very finest voices of its type anywhere in the world for the past 100 years. A number of his recordings are still available on CD, attesting to his greatness. Film clips of him in action also exist.

О Марке Осиповиче Рейзене (русский)

Марк О́сипович Ре́йзен (21 июня (3 июля) 1895, с. Зайцево, Екатеринославская губерния, Российская империя — 25 ноября 1992, Москва, Российская Федерация) — советский оперный и камерный певец (бас), педагог.

Народный артист СССР (1937). Лауреат трёх Сталинских премий l степени (1941, 1949, 1951). Кавалер трёх орденов Ленина (1937, 1951, 1976).

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Mark Osipovich Reizen's Timeline

July 3, 1895
Zaitseve, then Ekaterinoslav province, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
November 25, 1992
Age 97
Moscow, Soviet Union (USSR)
Vvedensky cemetery, Moscow, Russia (Russian Federation)