Today, there are few people who have not heard his name. But he once had to sell postcards and earn extra money as a loader …
Vertinsky lived a rather difficult life. Could end up in jail, die of cocaine addiction, go to jail. His career was successful, but at the end of his life he repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with everything that surrounded him. His biography is known, but here are some interesting facts.
Alexander Vertinsky was born in Kyiv in 1889. His family was not poor, but carefree childhood did not last long. The whole family of his mother, Evgenia Skolatskaya, considered the marriage a misalliance and therefore abandoned their daughter, who died three years after the birth of little Sasha. Two years later, his father also died. Sasha and his older sister Nadezhda were left orphans and the evil relatives on the maternal side separated the children, informing them of each other’s death.
In 1904, due to various problems in schooling and not the best relations with others, 15-year-old Vertinsky found himself on the street. He was lucky to be in the local artistic environment, where he remains and begins to develop as a person, acquiring acquaintances and gaining a reputation as a diverse performer.
Alexander did not have a home, a good education, he was separated from his sister … He begins to earn money as best he can. There is evidence that he worked as a proofreader in a printing house and an accountant in a hotel, as a loader, and sold postcards. And of course, he played in amateur performances. Vertinsky meets the iconic representatives of the Silver Age – Benedict Livshitz, Marc Chagall, Mikhail Kuzmin, Kazimir Malevich. Periodically, the future poet and performer writes reviews of the performances of Fyodor Chaliapin, Giuseppe Anselmi and more.
In 1913, Alexander Vertinsky moved to Moscow, where, thanks to a combination of circumstances, he found his sister Nadezhda. Unfortunately, she will die in two years (presumably a cocaine overdose). In Moscow, Vertinsky begins his career, performing in dramatic and literary communities, slightly imitating Igor Severyanin and Alexander Blok. Konstantin Stanislavsky did not accept a 24-year-old young man into the troupe of the Moscow Art Theater, because he did not pronounce “p”. But he still found work in the theater and cinema.
World War I
After the First World War began, Vertinsky volunteered to go to the front and became an orderly at Rear Passage No. 68, which ran between the front line and the capital. Every year he performs more and more songs and poems, brings to life the famous image of Pierrot, and in 1917 holds his benefit performance. Glory grew, and with it the number of problems.
The romance “What I have to say” (a pacifist song that the poet composed under the impression of the death of three hundred metropolitan cadets) was under the attention of the Extraordinary Commission and Vertinsky was summoned to the authorities on the carpet. According to some biographers, the following dialogue took place there:
– It’s just a song, and then, you can’t forbid me to feel sorry for them! Vertinsky said. – It will be necessary, and we will forbid breathing! – cut off in the Cheka.
Emigration from Russia
After touring the southern cities of the decaying empire, from Sevastopol at the end of 1920 on a steamer, together with the remnants of the army of Baron Wrangel, Vertinsky sails to Constantinople. He later wrote: “What pushed me? I hated Soviet power? Oh no! Obviously, it was a passion for adventure, travel.” These adventures lasted 20 years.
He was in Bessarabia, Poland and Romania. In 1923, Vertinsky asked to return to the USSR, but he was refused. Thus, he begins to work (and even harder than at home) in France, Palestine, Shanghai, Germany, the USA, Harbin. He meets the beau monde of that time: Ruben Mamulyan, Marlene Dietrich, Sergei Rachmaninoff… But life does not get better.
After a series of not very successful relationships, Vertinsky married Lydia Tsirgava: they had an age difference of 34 years, but this does not interfere with the couple and they had two daughters – Marianna and Anastasia. When Japanese troops entered China, life became more difficult, sometimes Vertinsky had to turn in and redeem his tailcoat at a pawnshop twice a day.
Return to Russia
For a long time in the USSR, Vertinsky’s records were criticized and condemned (although they were not banned). In the late 1930s, the performer tried several times to return to Moscow, but failed. Only in 1943 did he turn in a letter to V. M. Molotov. He wrote that he wanted to help his homeland during the fighting at the front. Vertinsky and his family are finally allowed into the USSR and he begins to actively tour the front-line units and perform no longer “cocaine”, but patriotic songs like “He” (in honor of Stalin).
Later, his daughter Marianna recalled how her father said: “I have nothing but a world name.” Vertinsky was famous all over the country and worked until the end of his life, giving about 3,000 concerts and sometimes acting in films. A year before his death, he wrote: “they are still pretending at the top that I haven’t returned, that I’m not in the country. They don’t say a word about me. Newspapers and journalists write:“ No signal . meanwhile, I am!”
In 1956, he wrote to his wife: “Today I went over all my acquaintances in my mind and realized that I don’t have any friends here! Everyone walks with his shopping bag and grabs everything he needs into it. , and you – even die – he doesn’t give a damn! You look at this story with Stalin. Everything is false, vile, incorrect Wow?! Who, when and how will pay for the “mistakes” of all this bastard?! And how long will they mock our Motherland? How long?…”
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