Music: New Boris

Greatest impersonation of the late Basso Feodor Chaliapin was the fear-racked 17th-Century Tsar in Moussorgsky's Boris Godounov. In 1908, Chaliapin was the first man to sing Boris outside of Russia, in 1929 the last to sing it at Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera House. Other bassos —notably the Metropolitan's Adamo Didur, the Chicago Opera's Vanni Marcoux—donned the wig and beard of Boris, but they were haunted by the Chaliapin performance, just as in the opera the Tsar is haunted in his biggest scenes by the wraith of the young heir to the Russian throne, whom...

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