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    Boris Hristov, the Bulgarian Chaliapin

    library and of course singing perfectly. It was somewhere in the early eighties. She brought it to the plate where a Bulgarian choir performs Orthodox chants. Since then, interest in church music has awakened in me. Twenty years later, between the walls of the temple, I learned this story about Boris Hristov.

    Boris Hristov

    The name of Boris Hristov is not as well known to every lover of the opera as the name of his younger compatriot Nikolay Giaurov is known. In the world, Boris Hristov, known as the "Bulgarian Chaliapin", has no equal in scale of his creative talent. Boris Hristov, the most talented and active representative of Mussorgsky's creative work, an unrivaled performer of the Russian chamber repertoire, has long been unknown in his own country. This article is a tribute to a man whose contribution to Russian culture is enormous and whose name is also unknown to most Russians.
    Boris Hristov was born on May 18, 1914 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The spirit of Orpheus, who, according to legend, was born in Thrace (present-day southern Bulgaria) hangs above this land. Long ago, the waters of the Hebra River swallowed the sacred lute of the singer killed by the Bacchans. For hundreds of years, other people came to the place of the Thracians, the river has the Slavic name Maritsa, but new Orpheus is regularly born on the land where it flows. Bulgaria holds an absolute world record for the number of opera stars per capita. Boris Hristov's father and grandfather, who are fond of musicians, made friends and played songs, and his mother instilled in her son a love of Russian language and history. In this way, Boris Hristov is a "Slavic squared".
    In his childhood, Boris Christov sang in church and the love of the Orthodox liturgy he carried for the rest of his life. The best records of liturgical chants with his participation were made in Bulgaria in the 1970s, when the artist's career as a singer went down. Although the timbre of this beautiful voice has already diminished slightly, its sublime, in the highest sense, has become ever brighter. This is precisely prayer, not "liturgical singing."
    The fate of Boris Hristov is mystically linked to two crowned personalities, his namesakes. One of them is the last Bulgarian tsar Boris III, who, upon hearing the talented singer at a concert, sends him to study in Italy. The second is Boris Godunov. It was in this role that Boris Hristov became a worthy successor to Fyodor Chaliapin and again gave the Western audience the Russian opera in all its power and depth.
    They like to call Boris Hristov "the Bulgarian Chaliapin". Although his opponents call him a "Chaliapin imitator". But it would be tantamount to blaming an engineer for his design decisions. Indeed, Chaliapin discovered a new era in vocal art and singing as it was sung "to our era", especially for bass, is simply impossible. In addition, the hero of our article was very lucky to be attending Chalyapin's concerts in Sofia. And we have every right to speak about living continuity between generations. Boris Hristov is one of the few who managed to escape from the shadow of his great predecessor and create his own unique and performing language in the synthesis of two singing schools - Russian and Italian. The combination of pure-blooded belko with the great heartiness of the Slavic intonation creates a special charm of this voice.
    The rich palette of intonations, combined with the talent of a dramatic actor and the Balkan temperament, gives his voice the kind of imagination in front of which everything fades. Boris Hristov has an impeccable sense of style.
    Recently Bulgaria and Italy celebrated the singer's 100th anniversary. His name continues to serve people. He founded the Bulgarian Music Academy in Rome, which he founded. The Boris Hristov Foundation helps not only talented musicians, but also doctors - cardiologists. An international competition for young opera singers, bearing his name, is held annually in Bulgaria. And the voice that outlived its owner is still so captivating.


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