Mariya Kamenskaya

Tchaikovsky Research
Mariya Kamenskaya (1854-1925), in the role of Lyubov in Mazepa.

Russian singer (mezzo-soprano) (b. 19/31 August 1854 in Saint Petersburg; d. 1925 in Helsinki), born Mariya Danilovna Valter (Мария Даниловна Вальтер), known on stage as Mariya Danilovna Kamenskaya (Мария Даниловна Каменская).

Kamenskaya was a native of Saint Petersburg, where she graduated from Henriette Nissen-Saloman's conservatory classes, making her stage debut with the Imperial Theatres in 1874, as Vanya in Glinka's A Life for the Tsar. She premiered the roles of Joan of Arc in Tchaikovsky's opera The Maid of Orleans (1881) and Marthe in Iolanta (1892).

For the role of Joan, Tchaikovsky was obliged to make several transpositions of the soprano part to suit Kamenskaya's lower range, and her stubborn behaviour caused him much frustration [1].


In 1875, Tchaikovsky dedicated Mignon's Song — No. 3 of the Six Romances, Op. 25 — to Mariya Kamenskaya.

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

No letters from Tchaikovsky to Mariya Kamenskaya are known, but four letters from Kamenskaya to the composer, dating from 1882 and 1886, are preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, Nos. 1385–1388).

External Links

Notes and References

  1. See, for example, Letter 1643 to Eduard Nápravník, 11/23 December 1880, and Letter 1926 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 4/16 January 1882.