Irra Petina

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St. Petersburg, Russian Empire [now Russia]
Petina (pronounced (PEH-tin-ah) was born to an important Russian family. Her father, General Stephen Petin, was Czar Nicholas II's personal escort. Her family fled to China during the revolution, and Penina received her first formal training there. Petina debuted with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1933, and her career with the Met spanned over 20 years. A contralto, she also appeared extensively on stage, notably in Leonard Bernstein's "Candide", for which she won a Tony nomination in 1957.

Petina eventually married Dr. Frank Bussey and retired from the stage. She died in 2000. Read more...