This steak is but one modest legacy of a spectacular career.The singer was decorated by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1910,the King of Italy in 1912, and as a Commander of the Legion ofHonour of France in 1934. Chaliapin was also well known forhis swearing, backstage brawling and unanticipated antics on stage.Chaliapin's favorite New Grill, where he ate almost every meal daily,opened in 1923, several years after the star began performing atthe Metropolitan Opera in New York, where in his controversial role as Basilio in Rossini's "Barber of Seville"he appalled Americans with his vivid portrayal ofthe oily, vulgar, repugnant priest.17

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