Musical selection and photo album for Feodor Chaliapin 150th birth jubilee

Feodor Chaliapin, a great opera singer, was born 150 years ago on February 13, 1873 in Kazan. Born into a peasant family, Feodor Chaliapin performed at the world's most prestigious theatres - the Bolshoi, the Mariinsky and the Metropolitan Opera. Composers Sergei Prokofiev and Anton Rubinstein, the actor Charlie Chaplin and the future English King Edward VI were among those, who admired his talent. The reviewer Vladimir Stasov called him a 'great artist', while Maxim Gorky referred to him as a separate 'epoch of Russian art'.

Chaliapin was an artist that combined in his creative work "natural musicality, rich vocal skills, remarkable acting skills and talent of dramatic identification. Pioneering work of Chaliapin in the sphere of the opera dramatic truth has had a huge impact on world opera theatre. Feodor Chaliapin was always closely linked with the art world. He took sculpture lessons under the sculptor Ilya Ginzburg and tried his hand at painting and drawing. Self-portraits show his experiments with various techniques and materials.

The singer's voice, distinguished by th depth and volume of sounding, is presented in the musical selection compiled from recordings of Chaliapin performances that were digitized from the musical media stored in the museum Collection Music Library.

The art album in the museum Photo gallery features a series of postcards and photographs of Feodor Chaliapin as Mephistopheles in the opera “Faust” by Gounod and “Mephistopheles” by Boito, as Melnik in “Rusalka” by Dargomyzhsky, Boris Godunov in the eponymously-named opera by Mussorgsky, King Herod in “Judith” by Serov and Don Basilio in “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini. This unique photographic evidence illustrates the artist's intense internal work on the image and demonstrate interesting details about the productions that brought the great Russian opera artist with the high bass of a luminous sound color to worldwide fame.

On the cover: Bronze bust of Feodor Chaliapin*. Russian Empire, Saint Petersburg. 1899-1900. Paolo Troubetzkoy, Carlo Robecchi foundry

* A similar item in bronze is stored in the State Theatre Museum of A. Bakhrushin in Moscow