We have been informed of the death in St Petersburg of the venerable mezzo-soprano Irina Bogacheva, the artist whom Dmitry Shostakovich chose for the premiere of his song cycle to poems of Marina Tsvetaeva.
Irina was the city’s foremost mezzo, the Mariinsky’s regular Carmen, Azucena and star of all the deep-voiced Russian operas, notably Marta in Khovanschina.
She was a sought-after teacher at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire. Olga Borodina was among her star pupils. Her husband was head of the conservatoire’s opera-directing department. Her daughter Elena is a pianist.