Shalyapin. Acquaintance to theater
to Fedya, apparently, was already executed twelve when it for the first time got to theater.
In spiritual chorus where young Shalyapin sang then, the neighbor offered it for 20 kopeks the excess ticket for the matinee “Russian Wedding“. Shalyapin knew that theater - a stone bulk with dusty windows from which some garbage is seen. The theater in such look did not cause interest. At weddings Fedya pevat, and more than once therefore also the name somehow did not seduce. Nevertheless Shalyapin bought
I here is how later it described the real acquaintance to theater - it began with a gallery:
“… Holiday. There is a lot of people. I had to stand, adhering to hands for a ceiling. I with amazement looked in a huge kolodez … at its dark bottom filled with ranks of chairs among which people spread. Gas burned, and its smell remained for me for the rest of life the most pleasant smell. On a curtain the picture is painted: “The oak green, a golden chain on an oak that“ and “a cat the scientist everything goes on a chain around“ … Played an orchestra. Suddenly the curtain trembled, rose, and I was stupefied at once, fascinated. Predo me recovered some vaguely - the fairy tale familiar to me. On the room which is wonderfully decorated perfectly dressed people went, talking with each other somehow it is especially beautiful. I did not understand what they tell. I was shaken to the bottom of the heart by a show and, without blinking, without thinking of anything, looked at these miracles.
the Curtain fell, and I all stood, fascinated by a waking dream, a dream which I never saw, but always waited for it, I wait … for
to this day … People shouted, pushed me, left and again came back, and I all stood. And when the performance came to an end, began to extinguish fire, to me it became sad. It was not believed that this life stopped. At me flowed hands and legs. I remember that I was unsteady when went outside.
Ya understood that theater - it is incomparable more interestingly than Yashki Mamonov`s buffoonery. It was strange to see that on the street put and bronze Derzhavin is lit with the setting sun. I was again turned back in theater and bought the ticket for evening representation.
gave “Medea“ in the Evening … I had a convenient place. I could sit, oblokotyas about a barrier. Again, keeping the eyes glued, I looked at a scene where stars the moon taken from the sky, suffered Medea, running away with children, the handsome Yazon rushed about.
Ya looked at all this literally agape. And suddenly, already in an interval, noticed that at me saliva flows from a mouth. It very much confused me. I have carefully a look at neighbors - they saw? It seems, did not see. “It is necessary to close a mouth“, - I told myself.
But when the curtain rose again, lips against the will of mine were dismissed again. Then I covered a mouth with a hand.
Theatre demented me, made almost deranged. Coming back home on desert streets, seeing, precisely in the sleep as rare lamps wink each other, I stopped on sidewalks, remembered magnificent speeches of actors and recited, imitating a mimicry and gestures of everyone.
- the Queen I, but - the woman and mother! - I proclaimed in night silence, to surprise of sleepy watchmen. Sometimes, that the gloomy passerby stopped before me and asked:
- What is the matter?
Embarrassed, I ran away, and it, looking after me, probably thought: the boy is drunk! I told
of the House to mother that I saw. I was tormented by desire to transfer it though a small particle of the pleasure filling my heart. I spoke about Medea, Yazon, Katerina from “Thunder-storm“, about surprising beauty of people in theater, transferred them to the speech, but I felt that all this does not occupy mother, is unclear it.
- So, so, - she quietly responded, thinking of the. I especially wanted to tell
to it about love, the main core around which all raised theater life rotated. But it was for some reason awkward to speak about it and I not in forces was tell about it simply and clear. I did not understand why in theater speak about love so beautifully, loftily and purely, and in the Cloth settlement love - the dirty obscene business exciting evil sneers? On a scene the love causes feats, and in our street - a fight.
What - is two love? One is considered the highest happiness of life, and another libertinism and a sin?
Certainly, I at that time not really thought of this contradiction, but, of course, I could not but see it. Very much it beat me eyes and to liking.
At all desire to open the world which fascinated me for mother I could not make it. And, at last, I did not understand the elementary: why - Yazon, but not Yakov; Medea, but not Maria? What is “Golden Fleece“, Colchis?.
A here still arrived the opera, and tickets went up in price to 30 kopeks. The opera amazed me: as the chorister, I, of course, was amazed not by that that people - sing, and sing not really clear words, I sang at weddings “A reality mi zrak!“ and to that similar, but the fact that there is life in which people in general about everything sing amazed me, but do not talk as it is established on streets and in houses of Kazan. This life drawlingly could not but stun with
me. Unusual people, asking - sang, answering - sang, sang, thinking, being angry, dying, sang, sitting, standing, chorus, duets and in every possible way!
Amazed me that order of life and terribly it was pleasant to me.
“My God, - I thought, - here if everywhere - so, all would sing - on streets, in baths, in workshops!“
For example, the master sings:
- Fedka, dr - ra - to an atv!
A I to it:
- All right, Nikolay Evtropych!
Or a budochnik, having seized the inhabitant by a collar, a bass proclaims:
- Here I in a site will take away you - at!
A conducted appeals a tenorok:
- Pardon, pardon, the soldier - y!
Dreaming of such charming life, I, naturally, began to turn everyday life into the opera; the father speaks to me:
- Fedka, to kvass!
A I to it in reply a treble and on high notes:
- Now I bear - at!
- You what shout? - he asks.
Or - I sing:
- Daddy, get up tea pi - to ityit!
He stares at me and speaks to mother:
- Saw? Here to what they, theaters, lead up!
The theater became for me a necessity, and a role of the viewer, the place on a gallery did not satisfy me any more, there was a wish to get behind the scenes, to understand - from where take the moon where people fail what the cities, suits where after representation all this bright life disappears so quickly are under construction of?
Ya several times tried to get into this kingdom of miracles - some furious people turned out me. But once I all - reached the desirable - opened some small door and came to be on the dark narrow ladder which is filled up with different stuff, the broken frames, a canvas tatter. Here it is way to miracles!
Making the way among these fragments, I suddenly came to be under a scene, among devil confusion of ropes, bars, cars. All this moved, fluctuated, creaked. In this confusion people with hammers and axes in hands slipped, shouting at each other. Making the way among them as a mouse, I got out on a scene, behind the scenes and came to be in a waking dream - in the company red-skinned, Spaniards, carpenters and the tousled people, with notebooks in hands. Though Indians and Spaniards talked as carpenters, too in Russian, ethane deprived of them charm. I examined colored ugly faces and bright suits with the greatest delight. Right there, among them, the real firefighters in copper helmets were pushed, and over my head on grid-irons some people practised in dexterity, reminding farcical Yakov Mamonov. All this made bewitching impression on me, unforgettable for ever and ever!
A soon I already participated after that in a performance the supernumerary. I was dressed in a dark smooth suit and smeared to me a face with a burned stopper, having promised to give the patch for this opprobium of the personality. I obeyed to coloring not only fearlessly, but also with great pleasure, furiously shouted “hurrah!“ in honor of Vasco da Gama and in general felt excellently. But what my confusion when I was convinced that from a face not so - that it is easy to wash away a stopper was. Going home, I rubbed a forehead and cheeks snow, spent its whole snowdrift and all - was with a smoked physiognomy of the Black. Parents very seriously suggested me to explain - that it means? I explained, but they were not satisfied by it, and the father cruelly flogged me, keeping saying:
- In janitors go … in janitors!.“
Why in janitors?! Perhaps, the answer to this and other questions is concealed in F. Shalyapin`s book of “The page from my life“. I recommend!