Chaliapin, Feodor

Chaliapin, Feodor

▪ Russian musician
in full  Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin , also spelled  Fyodor Shalyapin 
born Feb. 1 [Feb. 13, New Style], 1873, near Kazan, Russia
died April 12, 1938, Paris, France

      Russian operatic basso profundo whose vivid declamation, great resonance, and dynamic acting made him the best-known singer-actor of his time.

      Chaliapin was born to a poor family. He worked as an apprentice to a shoemaker, a sales clerk, a carpenter, and a lowly clerk in a district court before joining, at age 17, a local operetta company. Two years later he went to study in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, Georgia), and in 1896 he became a member of the private Mamontov opera company, where he mastered the Russian, French, and Italian roles that made him famous. In 1895 he debuted at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre as Mephistopheles in Charles Gounod's Faust. In 1901 he sang at La Scala under Arturo Toscanini, alongside Enrico Caruso.

      Chaliapin's interpretation of the title role in Modest Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov was his most famous. His other major dramatic parts included Philip II in Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos, Ivan the Terrible in Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's The Maid of Pskov, and the title (and, for him, the signature) role in Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele. His great comic characterizations were Don Basilio in Gioacchino Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni.

      Chaliapin appeared at the major opera houses in Milan (1901, 1904), New York City (1907), and London (1913). A man of lower-class origins, Chaliapin was not unsympathetic to the Bolshevik Revolution. He left Russia in 1922 as part of an extended tour of western Europe. Although he would never return, he remained a tax-paying citizen of Soviet Russia for several years. His first open break with the regime occurred in 1927 when the Soviet government, as part of its campaign to pressure him into returning to Russia, stripped him of his title of “The First People's Artist of the Soviet Republic” and threatened to deprive him of Soviet citizenship. Prodded by Stalin, Maksim Gorky, Chaliapin's longtime friend, tried to persuade him to return to Russia but broke with him after Chaliapin published his memoirs, Man and Mask: Forty Years in the Life of a Singer (trans. from French 1932, reissued 1973; originally published in Russian, Maska i dusha, 1932), in which he denounced the lack of freedom under the Bolsheviks. After leaving the Soviet Union, Chaliapin performed frequently with the Metropolitan and Chicago opera companies in the United States and with Covent Garden in London. He also toured every continent, frequently with his own opera company. Although occasionally considered unorthodox, he was admired as a versatile and expressive recitalist, remembered for his repertoire of Russian songs. He made some 200 recordings from 1898 to 1936, starred in the movie Don Quixote (1933), and published the autobiographical Pages from My Life (1926). In 1984 his remains were disinterred from Batignolles Cemetery in Paris and reburied in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, alongside Russia's most revered cultural figures.

Additional Reading
Nina Froud and James Hanley (compilers and eds.), Chaliapin: An Autobiography as Told to Maxim Gorky; with Supplementary Correspondence and Notes, trans. from Russian (1967), is a tribute of Chaliapin's longtime friendship with the great Russian writer. Chaliapin's recital career is vividly captured in the memoirs of his accompanist, Gerald Moore, Am I Too Loud (1962, reissued 1979). Victor Borovsky, Chaliapin: A Critical Biography (1988), is a definitive work on Chaliapin in English.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chaliapin,Feodor Ivanovich — Cha·lia·pin (shä lyäʹpĭn), Feodor Ivanovich. 1873 1938. Russian born French operatic basso who gained fame for his performance in Arrigo Boito s Mefistofele. * * * …   Universalium

  • Chaliapin, Feodor (Ivanovich) — or Fyodor Shalyapin born Feb. 13, 1873, near Kazan, Russia died April 12, 1938, Paris, France Russian singer. Born a peasant, he received little early musical training, but his talent led to his taking leading roles with a touring opera company… …   Universalium

  • Chaliapin, Feodor (Ivánovich) — o Fyodor Shalyapin (13 feb. 1873, cerca de Kazan, Rusia–12 abr. 1938, París, Francia). Cantante ruso. Campesino de nacimiento, recibió una escasa formación musical inicial, pero gracias a su talento, en su adolescencia se integró a una compañía… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Chaliapin, Feodor (Ivanovich) —  (1873–1938) Russian opera singer …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Feodor Chaliapin — Chaliapin redirects here. For other uses, see Chaliapin (disambiguation). Feodor Chaliapin s photograph with his autograph, 1908 Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin (Russian: Фёдор Иванович Шаляпин, Fyodor Ivanovich Shalyapin; February 13 [O.S. February… …   Wikipedia

  • Chaliapin (disambiguation) — Chaliapin may refer to: Feodor Chaliapin (1873 1938), Russian opera singer Boris Chaliapin, artist and illustrator, son of Feodor Chaliapin Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. (1905 1992), actor, son of Feodor Chaliapin 2562 Chaliapin, an asteroid Chaliapin… …   Wikipedia

  • Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. — Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. ( ru. Фёдор Фёдорович Шаляпин; October 6, 1905 September 17, 1992), was the son of opera basso Feodor Chaliapin and namesake of the world s greatest Operatic Star and Bass of the twentieth century. Fedorovich(=Russian vich …   Wikipedia

  • Feodor Chaliapin — Fédor Chaliapine Fiodor Chaliapine. Portrait par Boris Koustodiev (1921) Musée du théâtre, Saint Pétersbourg Fiodor (Fédor ou Feodor) Ivanovitch Chaliapine (en russe : Фёдор Иванович Шаляпин), né le 13 févri …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chaliapin — /ʃæliˈapən/ (say shalee ahpuhn) noun Feodor Ivanovich /ˌfeɪədɔ ɪˈvanəvɪtʃ/ (say .fayuhdaw i vahnuhvich), 1873–1938, Russian operatic bass singer …  

  • Feodor Chaliapin — Schaljapin ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Fjodor Iwanowitsch Schaljapin (1873–1938), russischer Opernsänger Fjodor Fjodorowitsch Schaljapin (1905–1992), russischer Schauspieler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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