Russian soprano Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya was born in Leningrad on 25 October 1926 and made her professional debut in 1944 singing operetta. She won a competition held by the Bolshoi Theatre in 1952, and became a member of the Bolshoi Theatre the following year. In 1960 she appeared at the National Theatre in Sarajevo, in 1961 at New York Metropolitan Opera, in 1962 at Covent Garden and in 1964 at La Scala Milan.
Vishnevskaya was married to the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and the couple were friendly with Dmitri Shostakovich. Benjamin Britten wrote the soprano part in his 1962 War Requiem especially for her.
Galina Vishnevskaya died on 11 December 2012, aged eighty-six.
A selection of M&V articles about Galina Vishnevskaya
Ensemble. Black Comedy - Prokofiev's 'The Gambler' impresses Robert Hugill
DVD Spotlight. Understandably Controversial - Derek Jarman's 'War Requiem', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... cutting room virtuosity.'