"Portrait of Feodor Shalyapin" 

Author Rinat Kuramshin

Chaliapin Feodor Ivanovich was a Russian opera singer. Possessing a deep and expressive bass voice, he enjoyed an important international career at major opera houses and is often credited with establishing the tradition of naturalistic acting in his chosen art form.
His first role there was as Mephistopheles in Gounod's Faust, in which he was a considerable success. In 1913, Chaliapin was introduced to London and Paris by the brilliant entrepreneur Sergei Diaghilev, at which point he began giving well-received solo recitals.
Largely owing to his advocacy, Russian operas such as Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, Glinka's Ivan Susanin, Borodin's Prince Igor and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride and Sadko, became well known in the West. Cosmopolitan Paris, with its significant Russian émigré population, became his base, and ultimately, the city of his death. Chaliapin's attachment to Paris did not prevent him from pursuing an international operatic and concert career in England, the United States, and further afield. Feodor Chaliapin was a wonderful draftsman, tried his hand at painting and sculpture, wrote poetry and prose. Chaliapin became an artistic symbol of his era, the entire national culture.

Photo. F. Chaliapin

Photo. Chaliapin on the stage of the Imperial theatre. 1915

Photo. I. Repin painting F. Chaliapin. 


Photo. M. Gorky and

F. Shalyapin