Petrenko, Yelizaveta Fyodorovna
- Boris Semeonoff
(b Akhtirka, 23 Nov/Dec 5, 1880; d Moscow, Oct 28, 1951). Ukrainian mezzo-soprano . She entered the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1902 and studied singing with Natal’ya Iretskaya and ballet with Fokin. She made her début at the Mariinsky as Delilah in 1905 while still a student; at her graduation recital the following year her rendering of Arsace’s aria from Semiramide created a sensation. She continued at the Mariinsky until 1915 and thereafter sang elsewhere in Petrograd and in Moscow, retiring in 1922 to take up teaching. Between 1907 and 1915 she made frequent appearances in the West: in 1913 and 1914 she participated in the Russian seasons in Paris and London with Dyagilev and Beecham, creating the role of Death in Stravinsky’s The Nightingale. She was equally at home in mezzo-soprano and contralto parts, her enormous repertory including Amneris, Carmen, Fricka, Stéphano (Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette...