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Galina Vishnevskaya (1926-2012), Opera singer

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Russian soprano Vishnevskaya was a star of the Bolshoi opera company in Moscow, and along with her husband, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, became close friends of the British musicians Britten and Pears in the 1960s. Britten would write the soprano part in War Requiem (1962) for her, although the Soviet authorities prevented her from singing at its premiere. Three years later, while staying in Russia, Britten wrote The Poet's Echo, based on texts by Pushkin, to showcase her dramatic range.

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