Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe great Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), a man who possessed remarkable acting talents as well as a magnificent voice, revolutionized the performance of opera in the 20th century, making it an art in which music and drama are inseparable. Emigre Russian music historian Borovsky, who teaches at the University of London, traces Chaliapin's career from his humble beginnings in provincial touring companies of Czarist Russia to his triumphant performances in the world's major opera houses. He concentrates on the singer's artistic development in his greatest rolesMephistopheles, Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov and others. Using contemporaneous reviews and descriptions of Chaliapin's performances and recollections left by the singer and those who knew him, he brings Chaliapin's art to life. A comprehensive discography is included. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Library Journal - Library JournalSingers, opera lovers, and actors should find much to inspire them in this loving biography of Fyodor Ivanovich Chaliapin, the great Russian singer/actor who became master of all the arts (makeup and costume as well as singing and acting) necessary to create compelling stage characters. Through press notices, letters, and memoirs, Borovsky documents Chaliapin's exacting and principled approach to musical and dramatic interpretation. Illustrations of Chaliapin in character and an updating of the 450+-item discography compiled by Alan Kelly accompany the text of this first comprehensive English study of the singer. Highly recommended. Steven J. Squires, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Lib.
- Knopf Publishing Group
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