The great soprano, widow of Mstislav Rostropovich, has been in poor health for some time. She was awarded a supreme state honour by President Putin last week. She was 86 years old.
Repports of her death appeared first in Russian state media. The French news agency, AFP, has obtained confirmation from the Vishnevskaya Singing Centre:
URGENT ¥ La chanteuse d’opéra Galina Vichnevskaïa décède à 86 ans (agences)
MOSCOU, 11 déc 2012 (AFP) – La chanteuse d’opéra Galina Vichnevskaïa, veuve du violoncelliste Mstislav Rostropovitch, est décédée mardi à l’âge de 86 ans, a indiqué le service de presse de l’école qui porte son nom.
“Elle est morte, c’est vrai”, a indiqué le Centre de chant Vichnevskaïa aux agences de presse russe, sans donner d’autres précisions.
photo: RIA Novosti/Lebrecht Music&Arts
Aside from a tempestuous career in Russia – celebrated by audiences, hounded by the KGB – she had many works written for her, most notably Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. Exiled with her outspoken husband in the 1970s, she published an excoriating memoir, Galina, of life under the hammer and sickle.
May Galina rest in peace.