Sobinov Leonid Vitaljevich (1872-1934) the Russian singer (lyric tenor). In 1897-1933 sang in the "Bolshoi Theatre". The prominent figure in the Russian classic vocal school.
Sobinov was born in 1872, 26 May, in Yaroslavl into the family of the lower middle class trade officer Vitaly Vasilyevich Sobinov. The period of his childhood was the most happy and calm. Sobinov's memories were always connected with his mother, who died very early, but thanks to her wonderful singing he started to sing himself. In 1881 at the age of 9 he entered into the gymnasium for boys that he graduated in 1890 with the silver medal. As a schoolboy he played the guitar and sang in a local choir.
After leaving school he enrolled in Moscow on a course leading to a degree in law. He completed the course in 1894 and obtained a law degree. After university came military service, and then he began to practice law. He studied vocal singing with Professors Alexander Dodonov and Alexandra Santagano Gorchakova, who in 1897 suggested that he go for an audition at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. This brought him a two year contract, an extraordinary success.
He has been the the soloist of the Mariinski Theatre in S. - Petersburg since 1901 and he actively performed on the best world opera stages within the period from 1904 till 1914. He appeared in operas such as Ruslan and Ludmila, Faust, Manon, Prince Igor, Eugene Onegin, Halka, Rigoletto, Tannhдuser (Walter von der Vogelweide) and in Ivanov’s Zabava Putyatishna (Solovey Budomirovich).
L. Sobinov worked as the first elected Director of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1917 - 1918. In 1923 the singer was titled as Merited Artist of Soviet Republic. And in 1934 he started his career as the Artist Director of the Opera Studio named after K. S. Stanislavski.
The name of Leonid Sobinov is standing in a line with other famous persons of Russian Silver Age Culture as F. Shalyapin, S. Rakhmaninov, A. Block, K. Stanislavski etc. Sobinov and Shalyapin, both, these names are the faces of Opera Art of the end of XIX - the beginning of XX c. heir creation completed the whole page not only in the Russian Opera Art but in the world one.
Memorial House-Museum of Leonid V. Sobinov (http://www.sobinov.yar.ru/english/index.htm)