Monakhov, Nikolai Fedorovich
Born Mar 18 (30), 1875, in St. Petersburg; died July 5, 1936, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian actor. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1932).
Monakhov began his stage career in 1895 in a dramatic theater. Starting in 1896 he performed on the estrada (the variety stage), sometimes teaming up with P. F. Zhukov. In 1904 he began performing in operettas in Kiev, Saratov, and Odessa and at the Hermitage Theater in Moscow. He also appeared in St. Petersburg at such theaters as the Buff and Panaev. Monakhov had a fine sonorous baritone voice. However, he also sang tenor parts, usually taking the role of a simpleton. His performances were distinguished by their subtlety, striking originality, and trueness to life. His finest work in operettas was connected with the Moscow Svobodnyi (Free) Theater (1913–14). Here, under the direction of K. A. Mardzhanov, his talents were best revealed in such roles as Afanasii Ivanovich in Mussorgsky’s Sorochintsy Fair and Calchas in Offenbach’s Belle Hélène.
After the October Revolution of 1917, Monakhov participated actively in the organization of the Bol’shoi Dramatic Theater (the present-day M. Gorky Bol’shoi Dramatic Theater) and was its leading actor. This is where his dramatic ability was revealed. He created a number of outstanding tragic and dramatic roles in classical and Soviet dramas, including King Philip in Schiller’s Don Carlos, Egor Bulychov and the Bearded Soldier in Gorky’s Egor Bulychov and the Others and Dostigaev and the Others, Godun in Lavrenev’s The Break, and Granatov in Faiko’s Man With a Portfolio. He also created brilliant comic characters—for example, Truffaldino in Goldoni’s Servant of Two Masters. Monakhov acted in films and until 1927 sang in operettas as a guest artist.