Norilsk launched him skyward like a rocket
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Norilsk launched him skyward like a rocket

August 04, 2021

For almost a quarter of a century, the People's Artist of the USSR and the renowned tenor appeared on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater, where, according to him, he started from Norilsk.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In his interviews, Vladislav Piavko often repeated that the city could be proud of what he had achieved: “And I am proud of Norilsk too. It launched me like a rocket into the space”.

Vladislav Piavko

In 1946 the boy together with his mother came to the village by the steamer Maria Ulyanova from Krasnoyarsk. His stepfather who replaced the child’s father met them at the Zero Point. The first Norilsk address of the family was Sevastopolskaya street, 13.

Vladislav Piavko showed the coke-chemical plant, or rather, the gas hell where his stepfather worked, to the singers and musicians of the Tenors Parade project, with which its author and inspirer came to the 50th anniversary of Norilsk-town in 2003 and two years later – to the 70th anniversary Norilsk combine. His colleagues grumbled: “Why weren’t you born, for example, in Yalta, Vladislav Ivanovich?”.

The family met the New Year 1953 in Norilsk in a twelve-meter private room on Monchegorskaya street. That year Vladislav remembered for the uprising in Norillag and for his personal hospital epic, when the famous surgeon Vladimir Rodionov ‘repaired’ his leg.

In addition to the first school where the future star studied, Piavko left a mark in the music school, which was soon abandoned for sports. In the summer of 1957, within the Norilsk classic wrestling team, 16-year-old Piavko, went to the youth championship of the RSFSR in Kaliningrad. On his way to Moscow, the future ‘diamond of the Bolshoi Theater crown’ was photographed against the theater’ background. Moreover, seven years later he became one of the six lucky ones selected from three hundred applicants for the troupe of Bolshoi trainees.

Piavko sang Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly by Puccini and in Cio-Cio-San with Galina Vishnevskaya at the age of 25. Moreover, after the internship at La Scala, the Bolshoi Theater soloist performed all the main parts of the dramatic tenor in the repertoire.
In Norilsk, he met wonderful people who, without even knowing it, served his destiny.

The last time the maestro came to the city on City Day in 2008 to receive the title of an honorary citizen.

When asked what he would have done if he had not left Norilsk in 1957, Vladislav Ivanovich suggested that he would have taken the local television in his hands: “I could work first as the director and then as the chief manager”.

In previous issues of the History spot photo project, we talked about how people used to fight epidemics in Norilsk and observe the aurora borealis.

For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.

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Text: Valentina Vachaeva, Photo: TASS and the archives of Norilsk residents

August 04, 2021

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