People`s Artist of Russia.
People`s Artist of Tatarstan.
Prizewinner of International Vocal Competitions (Sofia, 1988; Kazan, 1989).
The Russian State Award (1999).
Nikolai Putilin was born in Saratov, in the region of Volga. From 1978 to 1983 he studied at the Conservatory of Krasnojarsk, which he graduated under the guidance of Caterina Yoffel, attending postgraduate courses with Juri Fomin.
Nikolai Putilin entered the Theatre of Syktyvkar, where he sang the repertoire of the operetta up to 1985 when, after the Chaliapin Festival, entered the Opera Theatre of Kazan. For 7 years Nikolai Putilin was a member of the company of this Theatre where he sang important roles from the Russian baritone repertoire (The Demons by Rubinshtein, The Prince Igor by Borodin, The Tsar‘s Bride by Rimski-Korsakov and The Pique Dame by Tchaikovsky) and also Italian (Rigoletto, Traviata, Otello).
The turning point for Nikolai Putilin‘s carrier was in 1992 when Valery Gergiev invited him to enter the company of the Mariinsky Theatre - Kirov Opera: from this moment he takes part in all most important tours of the Theatre, debuting at the Metropolitan Opera House with Boris Godunov and The Pique Dame, then in Don Carlo by Verdi at the Festival of Merida in summer 1992 and after that in Japan (The Pique Dame and The Fiery Angel by Prokofiev) and in Amsterdam, Concertgebouw, in The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitej by Rimski-Korsakov and Khovanschina by Musorgsky. He sang furthermore, also during international tours of the Kirov Opera with Valery Gergiev, at the Teatro alla Scala di Milano and at the Royal Albert Hall again in Kitej and participated in the long French tour, which involved Paris, Lyon and Montpellier.
Nikolai Putilin took part in the recording of The Pique Dame (Tomsky), and Yolanta (Robert) by Tchaikovsky, Sadko by Rimski-Korsakov, Ivan the Terrible by Prokofiev for the Philips Classics, again with the Kirov Opera conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Again under the baton of Valery Gergiev he recorded the title role in Mazeppa for Philips Classics and debuted as "Jago" in a new production of Otello directed by Giancarlo Del Monaco. In June of 1996 he sang for the first time at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino the role of "Amonasro" in Aida under the baton of Zubin Mehta.
In the season of 1996/97 Nikolai Putilin had important debuts in the roles of Italian repertoire as "Barnaba" in La Gioconda at the Teatro alla Scala and also German as "Jokanaan" in Salome (St. Petersburg and Rome, Accademia di Santa Cecilia) and "Klingsor" in Parsifal (in St. Petersburg and in Ravello, Wagner Festival). He recorded the title role in the Prince Igor by Borodin for Philips/NHK with the Kirov Opera conducted by Valery Gergiev and took part in the tour of Mariinsky Theatre in New York at the Metropolitan Opera House. In summer 1998 he came back to the Salzburg Festival in the role of "Klingsor" in the production of Parsifal under the baton of Valery Gergiev with Placido Domingo and Waltraud Maier. His future engagements included performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano, in addition to the most important tours of the Mariinsky Theatre.