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IMPERIAL HOTEL

The Legendary Chaliapin

Chaliapin_roles_Mephistopheles

The singer, pictured in a signature role as Mephistopheles in
Gounod's "Faust", was a lifelong friend of Sergei Rachmaninov.
Chaliapin taught Rachmaninov the need to emphasize
culminating points in his vocal and acting performances.

1923_Frank_Lloyd_Wright_Imperial_Hotel

The breath-takingly bizarre 1923 Frank Lloyd Wright Imperial Hotel was
home to Chaliapin whenever he visited Tokyo, where he often performed to
full houses in the still extant Hibiya Public Hall still standing across the street.

Chaliapin_Steak,_in_Imperial_Hotel_Tokyo

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 of
Honour of France in 1934. Chaliapin was also well known for
his swearing, backstage brawling and unanticipated antics on stage.

The_New_Grill,_Imperial_Hotel_Tokyo_1936

Chaliapin's favorite New Grill, where he ate almost every meal daily,
opened in 1923, several years after the star began performing at
the 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 of
the oily, vulgar, repugnant priest.