Krushelnytska Solomiya

Activity: opera singer
Years: 1872 - 1952
Community: ukrainian
She was one of the brightest soprano opera stars of the first half of the 20th century. In 1891, she entered the Lviv Conservatory from which she graduated with distinction in 1893. Even before graduation she appeared as Leonora in the Lviv Opera production of Donizetti's La favorita. This brought critical acclaim to the young singer. Less than ten years after this debut, the name of Solomiya Krushelnytska guaranteed triumphal success on the best opera stages of Europe and America. In 1904, she became a legendary savior of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. The opera had been booed by the audience at its premiere in Milan's La Scala, but three months later in Brescia, a revised version of the work, with Krushelnytska singing the leading role, was a major success. Her repertoire totaled 63 parts. In the history of music, Krushelnytska is known as an active promoter of the works of her contemporaries, and of Richard Wagner. In 1902 she won the hearts of Parisians in Lohengrin. In 1906 she enchanted the audience at Milan's La Scala in Richard Strauss's Salome, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. And so it went – in the theatres of Europe, Egypt, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and others. In August 1939 Krushelnytska left Italy and returned to Lviv, where she maintained a residence until her death in 1952. A few weeks later, Soviet forces entered the city under the provisions of the Nazi-Soviet pact. The Soviet administration nationalized her townhouse in Lviv. After World War II Krushelnytska began teaching at the Lviv Conservatory. In 1951, she was named honored artist of the Ukrainian SSR and in 1952 was promoted to full professor at the Conservatory. Her former students and colleagues recall her dignified and humane manner as a teacher. The Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet is named after her (Lviv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Solomiya Krushelnytska). The building where she was born became a museum in 1963. In 1966 a film dedicated to her was made by the Ukrainian documentary film board and in 1983 a film titled “The Return of the Butterfly” was produced by the Dovzhenko Film Studios in Kyiv.