Personalities | Boris Christoff | Modern Era | Opera

1914–93, Bulgarian

As the leading Boris Godunov of his generation, Christoff benefited from his Russian mother’s insistence that he adopt her country’s culture. A difficult personality meant that controversy followed him throughout his life. Having sung with a church choir and local opera company in Bulgaria, Christoff emigrated to Italy in 1942 to pursue an operatic career. By 1945 he was singing professionally, and the development of his international career was dominated by Verdi bass roles. Christoff had an antagonistic relationship with his brother-in-law, Tito Gobbi, and during a production of Don Carlos this reached its breaking point. Further disputes embittered his working relationship with Maria Callas – during a rehearsal of Medea in Rome, Christoff accused her husband, Meneghini, of reducing his role by two-thirds. Meneghini hired a claque to disrupt Christoff’s scenes on opening night, while Christoff and Callas argued backstage. They never sang together again.

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Personalities | Jean Cocteau | Modern Era | Opera
Houses & Companies | The Claque | High Romantic | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.