NABOKV-L post 0022046, Thu, 29 Sep 2011 02:20:09 +0300

Subject
Amfiteatrov
Date
Body
p.s. to my recent post on Nikoladze (a character in "The Event"):

In his memoirs, in which he mentions Nikoladze (the editor of a Tiflis newspaper), Amfiteatrov tells about his operatic career. When in Kazan Amfiteatrov (a baritone, stage name Fa-mi) sang Demon in Rubinstein's opera, the fifteen-year-old Shalyapin was an extra in the same performance. A friend of Shalyapin, Alexey Maksimovich Peshkov (a namesake of Troshcheykin!) wanted to join the company (as a bass in the chorus) but wasn't accepted:

Когда я в Казани пел Демона, среди статистов, изображавших зловредную осетинскую шайку убийц князя Синодала ("Тише, тише подползайте"), подползал пятнадцатилетний мальчик, впоследствии сделавший самую громкую оперную карьеру в мире: именно Ф.И. Шаляпин! А в хоре у нас едва-едва не очутился было ещё более прославленный в будущем человек: A.M. Пешков - Максим Горький. Просился в басы, но, к счастию для русской литературы и к несчастию для русской политики, не был принят - кажется, по неумению читать ноты с листа.

In Kazan Amfiteatrov also sang Onegin in Chaykovsky's opera. Barboshin, too, sings from this opera: "Начнём, пожалуй..." (Lensky's words).

Also, Meshayev the Second who lives in the country and is late to the birthday party says that his brother хотел подложить ему свинью (wanted to play a dirty trick on him). Cf. Amfiteatrov's memoirs:

Корсов... подложил мне преизрядную свинку [sic!] в дирекции императорских театров при ангажементе моём на Мариинскую сцену.

In my article on "The Event" ("Barboshin instead of Barbashin..."), I suggest that Troshcheykin and his wife, the two "provincial guinea pigs" (провинциальные морские свинки, as in a letter to Suvorin Chekhov called the characters of his stroy "A Teacher of Literature"), turn into regular swines (свиньи) at the end of VN's play. Btw., the same metamorphosis happens with N. I. Chimsha-Gimalaysky, the narrator's brother in Chekhov's story "Крыжовник" ("The Gooseberries").

Alexey Sklyarenko

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