Sex and the Singer: Women in Feodor Chaliapin’s Life

Richard Miller (Editor)
Joseph Darsky
Delray Beach, FL

Series: Lives and Times of Distinguished Artists
BISAC: ART016000




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The most famous Russian Opera Star of the 20th Century Feodor Chaliapin, as stated by some memoirists, was known in Europe as a womanizer, while this subject in Russia, including the Soviet period, was taboo. There was a lot of rumors and gossip about Chaliapin’s two marriages, about his love affairs and his illegitimate children, but not a single written word describing those occurrences was attainable. With the beginning of Gorbachev’s <i>perestroika</i>, some light on the “forbidden fruit” was finally shed. Sadly, in almost all modern Russian publications on this topic, there are still a lot of misstatements about Chaliapin’s two marriages and his love affairs, but till today, not a single book (with the exception of one quite controversial work dedicated mostly to Chaliapin and his first wife) describing those occurrences was ever written. Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the day of the first publication on this subject and it is believed that the time is now ripe to make an attempt to tell the true story of the love life of Feodor Chaliapin in this book. Some of the collected facts were retrieved from the published sources disseminated throughout the literature; others were found in archives and on the Internet. The purpose of my book is not only to present the true story of Chaliapin’s love life, but also to show his evolving attitude toward women he loved, to reveal the influence of Chaliapin’s female partners on the operatic achievements during his young years and finally, to discredit many erroneous statements about Chaliapin’s sexual adventures that can be found in a number of publications. (Imprint: Novinka )

Acknowledgments (pp. ix-x)

Introduction (pp. xi-xiv)

Chapter 1. Boyhood (pp. 1-8)

Chapter 2. The Original Sin: Discovery (pp. 9-12)

Chapter 3. “Àõ, Îëüãà, ÿ òåáÿ ëþáèë...” (pp. 13-24)

Chapter 4. “Áåçóìíî ÿ ëþáëþ Òîðíàãè..." (pp. 25-34)

Chapter 5. Family Life (pp. 35-48

Chapter 6. “O, Maria, Maria…” (pp. 49-56)

Chapter 7. Leporello Becomes “Don Giovanni” (pp. 57-68)

Chapter 8. Broniusha (pp. 69-78)

Chapter 9. “Don Giovanni-2” (pp. 79-86)

Chapter 10. “Ñâåæî Ïðåäàíèå, À Âåðèòñÿ Ñ Òðóäîì...” (pp. 87-100)

Epilogue (pp. 101-106)

Appendix. Descendants of Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin and His Wives (pp. 107-112)

References (pp.113-116)

Personalia (pp.117-126)

Illustration Plates (pp.127-160)

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