11.02.2022

Recorded voice of Vasily Kachalov in the museum Sound Library for his birthday

One should like life, cognize it inquisitively,
learn to narrate about it brilliantly and
 reproduce it with inspiration....

Vasily Kachalov

An outstanding performer, one of the leading actors of the Moscow Art Theater troupe. Kachalov captivated the audience with his amazing body mobility and voice with bewitching timbre and generous pitch. Vasily Kachalov performed in the pieces by Chekhov, Gorky, Andreev, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Hamsun, A. Tolstoy, Ostrovsky, Hauptmann, not having a commitment to any typecasting, being a versatile artist. He performed a lot with dramatic reading at concerts, turning his performance into a peculiar event, where he was both an actor and stage director. A number of recordings of Kachalov's reading made on the radio have been preserved. The Sound Library of the Museum "Collection" features recordings of Vasily Kachalov voice made in different years of his life.

For the birthday of Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov, Russian and Soviet actor, elocutionist, teacher, one of the Moscow Art Theater leading actors, we have prepared a selection in which he recites the poem “Out loud” by Vladimir Mayakovsky and an excerpt from the novel "Resurrection" by L.N. Tolstoy.

11 facts about Vasily Kachalov

  • Felix Dzerzhinsky studied at the same gymnasium as Vasily Kachalov.

  • According to the legend, Vasily Kachalov chose his stage name after seeing in the newspaper a memoir of Nikolai Kachalov, director of the Electro-technical Institute.

  • Leonid Sobinov, seeing Kachalov in the role of Tsar Berendey, wrote, “Kachalov, with his figure, voice, intonation, bestows me what I always wanted in opera - so much gentleness, amiability, some kind of patriarchal grandeur in his Berendey”. Later on, Sobinov implemented the experience of Kachalov in preparation for the role of Berendey in the opera “The Snow Maiden”.

  • In 1936, Kachalov became one of the first People's Artists of the USSR.

  • Kachalov's concert repertoire included Exegi monumentum by Horace and Catiline Orations by Cicero in Latin, as well as excerpts from Iliad by Homer in Greek.

  • Kachalov was familiar with the Russian revolutionaries. Nikolai Bauman, who illegally returned to Russia in 1903, had been living at his place for some time. Lenin send letters to Kachalov’s address for the Moscow “Iskra” - the political newspaper of Russian socialist emigrants organization.

  • Kachalov is the archetype of Ippolit Pavlovich in “Theatrical Novel” by M. Bulgakov.

  • Kachalov's son Vadim Shverubovich served as the head of the production department in Moscow Art Theater since the 1930s. After the outbreak of the war in 1941, he volunteered for the front, was be encircled near Vyazma, escaped from the compound and made his way to Italy through the Saint Gotthard Pass, fought in the ranks of Italian guerilla warriors. At the end of the war, he was sought out at the request of his father, who addressed personally to Stalin, in the reservation of former prisoners of war in Modena, returned to his homeland, but was arrested by the NKVD. However, thanks to the intercession of his father, he was soon released and returned to work at the Moscow Art Theater.

  • Kachalov's grandson is the famous Shakespearian, Aleksey Bartoshevich.

  • In honor of Kachalov, the actor Vasily Livanov was named.

  • The Kazan Drama Theater is named after Kachalov.