Chaliapin

Victor Borovsky, Author Alfred A. Knopf $45 (630p) ISBN 978-0-394-56096-0
The 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)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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