During his childhood, he was in Siberia, where his father, a college professor,
was banished for revolutionary
activity. He spent his childhood in Tobolsk and Tjumen. He went to school in Tjumen.
During his youth, he sang in church choirs and took part in amateur concerts.
Labinskij studied singing at the Petersburg conservatory (1895 to 1899 or 1892 to 1897, depending on sources)
with Gabel and Samus.
During his studies, Labinskij he sang in the Sinodal Choir in Moscow,
and in the choir of the Mariinskij Theater in Petersburg from 1896 onwards.
He made his solo debut at the Mariinskij on August 30th, 1899 as
a Peasant in Zhizn za tsarja/A life for the tsar with Serebrjakov, Ershov, Bukevich,
During his stay at the Mariinskij, Labinskij sang:
Skald (Ruslan i Ljudmila), Walther von der Vogelweide, 2nd Sentry (Saratsin/The Saracen by Cui, a world premiere on
2 November 1899), Tavannes, Peasant (Evgenij Onegin), Warrior (Judith), Messenger
(Aida), Anabaptist (Prophète), Sailor (Tristan und Isolde),
Faust (on 12 April 1901 with Orlov, Friede, Bukhtojarov),
Bajan, Indian Guest, Sobinin, Finn, Afer (Servilija),
Montan (Servilija), Luciano (Francesca da Rimini), Tybalt, Lohengrin
(on 17 October 1903 with Sibirjakov, Smirnov, Bolska, Kamenskaja), Radames
(on 18 January 1904 with Ermolenko, Tartakov, Markovich, Grigorovich, Serebrjakov),
Jonas (Le prophète), Lenskij (on 29 October 1904 with
Bolska, Nosilova, Filipov, Smirnov), Sinodal (on 16 November 1904
with Smirnov, Friede), Jaquino, Berendej (on 16 November 1905
with Kuznetsova-Benois), Prince (on 12 December 1905 with
Kusa, Shaljapin), Froh, Duca (on 27 April 1907 with Bragin, Paskhalova, Serebrjakov),
Gérald (on 28 November 1906 with Shaljapin, Lipkovskaja, Nosilova),
Vsevolod (on 7 February 1907 with Ershov, Kuznetsova-Benois, Filippov, Sharonov),
Ottavio (on 23 February 1907, Bragin, Kastorskij, Sharonov, Serebrjakov, Mei-Figner, Sazonova, Bolska),
Russian prisoner (Kavkazskij pleennik/The prisoner of the Caucasus by Cui), Lykov (on 7 December 1907, act 1 only),
José (on 13 March 1908 with Klifus, Kuznetsova-Benois, Lipkovskaja),
Vagoa (Judif/Judith by Serov), Lykov (complete role on 23 November 1908 with Preobrazhenskij, Lipkovskaja,
Smirnov, Nosilova, Karelin), Vladimir Igorevich (on 22 September 1909 with Andreev, Kusa, Smirnov, Filippov, Petrenko),
Beppo (Cordelia), Pjotr (Kapitanskaja dochka/The captain's daughter by Cui, world premiere on
February 14, 1911 with Aksakova, Kastorskij, Losev, Sharonov, Zbrueva, Bolska,
Smirnov), and Andrej Khovanskij (on 7 November 1911 with Sharonov,
Ershov, Shaljapin, Zbrueva). His last perfomance at the Mariinskij was as Pjotr
in Kapitanskaja dochka on 17 April 1912.
1912–1919 Moscow (Bolshoj, Labinskij is said to have sung 28 roles there)
1916 Petersburg (Narodni Dom)
1918 Moscow (Zerkalnyj Theater, first cooperative theater in Russia)
1919–24 again at the Mariinskij (now called Kirov)
1920 tour across South Russia with other singers under the management of Basmanov
1922 Samara, Moscow (Zimin)
1926 Moscow (Bolshoj)
Staring in 1901, Labinskij undertook frequent tours:
Elizavetgrad, Kazan (1905), Ekaterinodar (1909, 1911),
Cheljabinsk (1909), Siberian cities/Far East (1924/25),
Sverdlovsk (1927), Zarubezh, Japan (one of the first Russian singers
appearing there, 1907 and 1923), France, Germany, Italy, ...
Labinskij taught singing after retiring. His voice had a range up to high F.
His repertory, besides the roles already listed, included:
Rustan (Urvazi by E. Dłusk, 1902), Carlo (1917),
Dubrovskij, German, Almaviva, Raoul,
Golitsin, Grigorij, Shujskij, Simpleton, Sadko, Vodemon, Vakula,
Dante (Francesca da Rimini),
Alfredo, Wilhelm Meister, Samson,
Faust (La damnation de Faust, 1921), Tannhäuser (1919, Paris version), ...
1920–22 and 1923–24, he taught singing
at the request of
Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow conservatory. He also taught
at the Institute of Musical Drama.
In 1941, he taught at the Bolshoj.
Labinskij enjoyed extraordinary popularity, especially among the female opera fans, who were called
"labinistkami" (similar to the Trantoulettes for the tenor Trantoul) and followed him on his tours.
Labinskij recorded more than 300 sides (1901–1915).
He died in Moscow on August 8th, 1941 during an air raid.