Russian opera singer (mezzo-soprano), born Mariya Ivanovna Dondukova-Korsakova (Мария Ивановна Дондукова-Корсакова), but known in her professional career as Mariya Ivanovna Ilyina (Мария Ивановна Ильина).
Mariya Ilyina was a member of the Imperial Opera Company at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg from January to May 1871, before transferring to the Kiev Opera, and later to Kazan. Tchaikovsky described her as "a singer with a tremendous, strong, and yet at the same time incredibly pleasant mezzo-soprano voice", when in 1874 she sang the role of the Boyarina Morozova in his opera The Oprichnik in Kiev (see TH 298).
Tchaikovsky's works dedicated to Mariya Ilyina
- Why? — No. 3 of Six Romances, Op. 28 (1875)