The Chaliapin Memorial Estates
Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Address: 27-25 Novinsky Blvd, Moscow
Nearest metro station: Barrikadnaya or Krasnopresnenskaya
For information please call: 8 (499) 255-9899, 8 (499) 255-9864
Closed for cleaning on the last Friday of every month
This Novinsky Boulevard house witnessed much of the life and work of Feodor Chaliapin, the famous Russian bass singer. This is the first house owned by Chaliapin in Moscow, and it is filled with the special atmosphere.
The museum is rich in objects that belonged to the Chaliapin family. These include furniture, a Bechstein grand piano, a long case clock, the wedding candles of Feodor Chaliapin and his wife Iola Tornagi, theatrical costumes, playbills, and posters... There are also many paintings which were given to Feodor Chaliapin by artists like Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, Vasily Polenov, Mikhail Nesterov, and Mikhail Vrubel. Boris Chaliapin, the son of Feodor Chaliapin, donated a vast collection of the singer's paintings to the Museum.
Presently, the Museum is closed as its exposition is being updated, but soon it will open its doors to visitors again. Here, changing exhibits, thematic and general tours, concerts by famous and young performers, subscription meetings, and children’s parties await them.
The art gallery is an integral part of the Feodor Chaliapin Memorial Mansion museum complex. It hosts exhibitions dedicated to Russian vocal art, its history and relevant topics. Here, they exhibit items from field-specific museums and private collections. The Gallery also hosts evenings and season-ticket concerts like “Musical Capitals of the World”, “Artistic Families”, “Meetings on Novinsky”, “Piano Evenings at Chaliapin’s”, “Choral Assemblies”, “Debuting at Chaliapin’s”, etc. Eminent singers from Russia and other countries hold workshops in this house where the great Russian opera singer resided.
Feodor Chaliapin was 37 years old when he purchased this Novinsky Boulevard house in 1910. He lived here for 12 years. During this period, he was at the peak of his talent; for him, it was a time of mature mastery, deeply creative work, and worldwide fame.
Once the house was purchased, Chaliapin’s wife Iola Tornagi, an Italian ballet dancer, took care of its improvement. The house, formerly owned by merchant's wife Kapitolina Bazhenova, was constructed in the late 18th century and was now transformed to become a European-style residence equipped with gas, running water, bathrooms and a telephone. The vast garden was also improved: there appeared a pergola offering a picturesque view of the Moskva River, cozy benches, a lime path, jasmine and lilac bushes, and a number of flower beds. This was a real family house for the Chaliapins, equally comfortable for the adults and the children (Feodor Chaliapin had five of them).
This hospitable mansion saw many Russian cultural celebrities, like Sergei Rachmaninov and Leonid Sobinov, Maxim Gorky and Ivan Bunin, Konstantin Korovin and Konstantin Stanislavsky.
In 1918, the house was nationalized, and it became a communal apartment for the next 60 years. In 1978, it was transferred to the Glinka Central State Museum of Musical Culture for the purposes of creating a Feodor Chaliapin Museum. It took eight years of complicated renovation and restoration work to make the mansion look the same as Feodor Chaliapin saw it.
The interior design was restored based on photographs and stories told by Feodor Chaliapin’s children. The White Hall, the Green Living Room, the dining room, the billiard room... Those who resided in these rooms lived in their accustomed routines that were not disturbed even by the hectic touring schedule of the opera singer. Feodor Chaliapin arranged rehearsals with many of his guests in the White Hall, in the dining room he celebrated his benefit performances and in the study he liked to read. Feodor Chaliapin was very fond of billiards, and his wife gave him a V.K. Schulz billiard table as a gift.
Today, just as it was during Chaliapin’s times, the house faces Novinsky Boulevard with its light straw-colored facade, its green roof is decorated with ornately shaped chimney caps, and the tops of the gate piers are topped with decorative urns.