Dramatic recitals by Vasily Kachalov. Compilation for the actor's birthday

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

Vasily Kachalov

Vasily Kachalov, one of the leading actors of the Moscow Art Theatre troupe, captivated audiences with his amazing plasticity and voice with a fascinating timbre and rich intonation. Vasily Kachalov performed in the theatre pieces by Chekhov, Gorky, Andreev, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Hamsun, Leo Tolstoy, Ostrovsky, Hauptmann, without being committed to a default role. He a lot of dramatic recitals at concerts, turning his performance into a special event, where he was both actor and stage-manager. Recordings of Kachalov voice made on the radio have been preserved.

The compilation posted in the Sound Library of the museum Collection features recordings of dramatic recitals by Vasily Kachalov made in different years of his life. These are: the soliloquy of Satin from the play "The Lower Depths”, act IV by Maxim Gorky; the soliloquy of Boris from the drama "Boris Godunov" by Alexander Pushkin; the poem "Am I wandering along noisy streets..." by A.S. Pushkin.

Biography of V. I. Kachalov is posted in the section "Authors/Producers".

Interesting facts about Vasily Kachalov

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

  • The origin of the pseudonym "Kachalov" is interesting: according to memoirs, once having read the obituary of N. N. Kachalov (former governor of Arkhangelsk province) in a St. Petersburg newspaper, the young man decided to take his surname instead of the off-stage "Shverubovich".

  • Leonid Sobinov, having seen Kachalov in the role of Tsar Berendei, wrote: "Kachalov figure, voice, intonation gives what I always wanted in the opera – so much softness, amiability, some patriarchal grandeur in his Berendei. In the future Sobinov used Kachalov's experience when preparing to perform the role of Berendei in the opera.

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

  • The concert repertoire of Kachalov repertoire included “Exegi monumentum” by Horace and speech of Cicero about Catilina in Latin, and excerpts from Homer Iliad by Homer in Greek.

  • Kachalov was acquainted with Russian revolutionaries. Nikolai Bauman, who returned to Russia illegally in 1903, lived in his house for some time. Lenin sent letters for the Moscow “Iskra” organisation to Kachalov's address.

  • Vasily Kachalov served as the prototype of Ippolit Pavlovich in The Theatre Novel by Mikhail Bulgakov.

  • The son of Kachalov –  Vadim Shverubovich served as head of the Moscow Art Theatre's production department from the 1930s. After the outbreak of war he volunteered for the front, was captured near Vyazma, escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp and made his way to Italy through the St Gotthard Pass, fighting in the ranks of the Italian partisans. At the end of the war, at the request of his father, who appealed personally to Stalin, he was found in the reservation of former prisoners of war in Modena, returned to his homeland, but was arrested by the NKVD. However, thanks to his father's intercession, he was soon released and returned to work at the Moscow Art Theatre. Since 1946, he taught at the "V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Studio School at the Moscow Art Theatre", where in 1954 he headed the production department. He was one of the Sovremennik Theatre founders (1956), which emerged from the bowels of the Studio School.

  • Kachalov's grandson is the famous Shakespeare scholar Alexei Bartoshevich.

  • Kachalov's great-granddaughter Olga Borisovna Lyubimova, is Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation since 21.01.2020.

  • The Kazan Drama Theatre bears the name of Vasily Ivanovich, a bronze monument to the artist is erected in the capital of Tatarstan.