Monument to Feodor Chaliapin

Egor Aleev/ТАSS
This bronze statue was installed in 1999 in front of the bell tower where the great Russian opera singer was baptized. Kazan was the first place on earth to hear Chaliapin's bass: he was born and raised to the age of 17 here. Chaliapin's opera debut was also in Kazan: he sang the part of Zaretsky in the Eugene Onegin opera, staged by the Kazan Society of the Lovers of Performing Arts. Chaliapin as a statue is not even 30 years old. The sculptors, Andrey Balashov and Asiya Minnullina, worked from Chaliapin's photos taken early in his career.

Chaliapin's father, a peasant from Vyatka, was 18 when he left his parental home and headed for Kazan in search of a better life. He worked as a janitor, water carter, apprentice at a candle factory, and assistant clerk in the volost office of the Kazan uyezd. There are many places associated with Feodor Chaliapin in Kazan. He was born in house number 10 on the street which is now Ulitsa Pushkina (Pushkina Street). He was baptized in the Epiphany Cathedral. He had lived in Ometyevo (now an inner city neighbourhood), at Ulitsa Nekrasova (Nekrasova Sreet), in the Old Tatar Neighbourhood... There are dozens of Chaliapin addresses in Kazan. The annual Chaliapin Opera Festival, which Kazan hosts, is one of the many ways in which the city pays homage to its great son.