Kipnis, Alexander kĭp´nĭs [key], 1891–1978, Russian-American operatic bass. He studied conducting at the Warsaw Conservatory and voice in Berlin. He made his operatic debut (1915) in Hamburg. Imprisoned by the Germans in World War I as an enemy alien, he was freed and permitted to sing in Wiesbaden. From 1919 to 1930 he was the principal bass of the Berlin Opera Company. He appeared with the Chicago Opera Company (1923–32) and toured extensively. His debut at the Metropolitan Opera House (1940) was as Gurnemanz in Parsifal. He is noted for his performance of the role of Boris Godunov. His son,
Igor Kipnis, 1931–2002, was a well-known harpsichordist.
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