rus / eng

Theater & Opera

Nina Koshetz - The Russian-American Shooting Star
Nina Koshetz was born in Kiev, then Russian Empire, now - Ukraine, to the family of a well known opera singer Pavel Koshetz (ru: Павел Кошиц; 1863-1904).
Early in her teens, Nina suffered a serious blow: her father committed suicide...
She recovered and continued striving for her dream: four years after the tragedy, she went to Moscow, enrolled into the Moscow State Conservatory and started studying under Konstantin Igumnov and Sergei Taneyev. Her successes allowed Nina to go to France and receive voice lessons from the retired dramatic soprano Felia Litvinne. This, in turn, propelled her to the top of the shortlists in principal opera houses across Russia and Europe, and soon she performed leading roles. 
She had a purely creative relationship with the famous composer Sergei Rachmaninoff during the 1910s, and he even composed a cycle of six romantic songs dedicated to Koshetz.
In the beginning of her career, Koshetz was accompanied by then-unknown Vladimir Horowitz, a fact she initially resented. After some time, though, she recognized his talent and would refuse point-blank to sing, accompanied by anyone else! She also performed some of Horowitz' early works.
In 1920 Koshetz went to the United States, to join the Chicago Opera Association. Her abilities found appreciation from the executives, and she sang in the premiere of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges (1921). Later Nina performed for the Russian Opera Company in New York and on tour in South America, gaining fame both for her singing and her extremely extravagant lifestyle.
But everything has an end, including successful careers... In the 30s her voice power declined, and in the 40s she had to retire, move to Hollywood and teach singing to aspiring movie stars and performers. She herself tried her acting talents in movies, appearing in Algiers (1938), The Chase (1946), Captain Pirate (1952), and Hot Blood (1956).
She died in her Santa Ana, California, home in 1965.
Short biography of Marina Koshetz by Hans J. Wollstein,
Marina Koshetz obituary, Los Angeles Times

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