On February 13, 1873 Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin was born
On February 13, 1873 Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin was born.
Today, on February 13, we celebrate the 145th anniversary of Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin – the greatest bass singer in the world.
Feodor Chaliapin made an invaluable contribution to the opera art development. Over 50 played roles in classical operas, more than 400 songs, romances and Russian folk songs were in his repertoire. In Russia, Chaliapin became famous for the leading parts of Boris Godunov, Ivan the Terrible, Mephistopheles. Not only did his magnificent voice delight the audience. Chaliapin paid great attention to the scenic image of his characters: he reincarnated into them on the stage.
Quite often Chaliapin's participation influenced the success with the public of a particular composition. Thus, the opera "Mephistopheles", which premiered on March 5, 1868 in La Scala, was a complete failure; it had been revised for eight years, was again staged in Bologna on October 5, 1875 and fall flat. Only a quarter of a century later, in La Scala after the famous performance of the Mephistopheles party by Chaliapin on March 16, 1901, which had a tremendous success (Faust's part was sung in that historical play by Caruso, conducted by Toscanini), the opera gained popularity, which is still preserved today.
Other interesting facts from the biography of the great singer can be found in the section Authors.
Feodor Ivanovich was on friendly terms with many great personalities of art and literature of his time: Enrico Caruso, Toti Dal Monte, Anna Pavlova, Maurice Ravel, Charlie Chaplin, Herbert Wells, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Maria Tenisheva.
Many famous sculptors of the time appealed to the image of Chaliapin. For example, S.N. Sudbinin (with his sculptures "Feodor Chaliapin" and "Chaliapin playing the role of Romeo"), P.P. Trubetskoy. His work "The portrait of Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin", in particular, is presented on the site of the Museum "Collection".
You can listen to the musical selection in our Sound Library that we prepared for Chaliapin’s birthday.