Chaliapin, Feodor. (1873–1938)
Signed Photograph in "Mefistofele"
Signed Underwood & Underwood of Chicago photograph of the great Russian bass in costume as Mefistofele from Arrigo Boito's opera of the same name. Chaliapin has inscribed to Charles Drumheller, tenor and longtime rehearsal pianist at the Metropolitan and Chicago Lyric Opera: "Charles Drumheller Souvenir de Feodor Chaliapin / 1922 / Chicago" in black ink to the lower margin. Type to verso reads "FEODOR CHALIAPIN / as 'Mefistofele' / Chicago Civic Opera." Large area of light-brown spill staining to upper right and center of image, overpainting to lower portion of Chaliapin's outfit, else in good condition and quite striking and presentable despite said defects! 8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm.).
Chaliapin seemed to enjoy portraying the devil. Another of his great performances was the role of Mephistopheles in Gounod’s opera Faust, which traditionally had been played as a charming trickster, but in his interpretation was the devil incarnate.