THE ACTOR ANDREY CHAPRAZOV
Andrey Chaprazov was born on 16th February 1920 in the town of Oriahovo. His father came from the town of Berkovitsa and worked as a medical auxiliary in the village of Ostrov, region of Oriahovo, where he met his wife-to-be, Setka, of a Teteven descent.
Still a child, Andrey Chaprazov showed his interest in theater and when he was in secondary school, he started playing the violin. As he became an orphan at an early age, his relatives advised his mother to send him to study at the Seminary, which provided a solid education at a low fee. The actor-to-be studied there from 1933 to 1936 but that was not his vocation. In 1937, he went back to Oriahovo and continued his education at the local high school. He took part in the school orchestra with conductors Kirilka and Nikola Kotsevi and participated in several operettas. After finishing school, in 1939, he entered the Conservatoire in specialty Violin, but did not graduate. There he met the famous actor Georgi Stamatov who influenced him to turn to the theater.
On Stamatov’s initiative a theater studio was established at the National Theater and Andrey Chaprazov took the entrance exams, though he was a third-year student at the Conservatoire, and successfully passing them, was accepted. Besides Stamatov, he was taught acting by the theater director Nikolay Masalitinov, language and style – by the poet Nikolay Liliev, and stylistics – by the then young lecturer of history of literature at Sofia University – Petar Dinekov. He graduated in 1944 and was on the cast of the National theater. In 1966-67 he was Director of the Theater of Poetry and Light Variety. After that he started work at the National Theater and remained there till 1988.
Andrey Chaprazov took part in 58 productions of the National Theater, some of which classical works of world drama, such as “Antigone” by Sophocles, “Romeo and Juliet”, “King Lear”, and “Richard III” by William Shakespeare, “Don Carlos” by Friedrich Schiller, “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, “On the Eve” based on Turgenev’s novel of the same title, “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol, “Seagull” by Anton Chekhov, “Exiles” by Ivan Vazov, “When a Thunder Strikes” by Peyo Yavorov. The actor also took part in contemporary plays, such as “The Young Guard” based on the novel by Alexander Fadeyev, “The Culprit” by Dimitar Dimov, “At night with the White Horses” by Pavel Vezhinov. In critics’ opinion, his most successful roles were those of Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet”, Cyrano de Bergerac in the play of the same name by Edmond Rostand, and Marquis of Posa in “Don Carlos”.
Chaprazov was one of the founders of the genre of radio theater in Bulgaria. He has over 5 000 recordings. Besides, he took part in 32 movies, the most famous of which are “The Tracks Remain” based on Pavel Vezhinov’s novel, “Golemanov” (1958), “Expert in Everything” (1962), “Mr. Nobody” based on Bogomil Raynov’s novel of 1969, “Glow above Drava” (1974) and “Annex to the State Defence Law” (1976).
Over the years the actor was granted a number of awards. In 1963 he became an Honoured Actor, and in 1969 – a People’s Actor. He was also granted the Order of Cyril and Methodius, I degree, Dimitrov’s Award for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac, and “Golden Rose” for his role in “Annex to the State Defence Law”. In 1998 The Union of Bulgarian Actors conferred an award for his whole contribution on him.
Andrey Chaprazov married thrice and had two children. He died on 23 August, 1999 in Sofia from a serious disease. He is one of the most outstanding talents of contemporary Bulgarian theater. He describes his vocation like that: “Every evening, when I step on the threshold of the theater, I know I am going to do my duty. I am a priest at the modern temple of theater. And I never forget I serve truth, the time I live at, my Bulgarian people.” This revelation of Chasprazov’s resembles very much a quotation of Cyrano’s: “This is my role in life – to make people glorify others, forgetting about myself.”
Some of his unforgettable roles are in:
- “Don Carlos”
- “Romeo and Juliet”
- “King Lear”
- “Cyrano de Bergerac”
- “This Small Land”
- “Promise Me a Bright Past”, etc.
Andrey Chaprazov has over 5 000 radio theater records and was undoubtedly considered the establisher of the genre in Bulgaria. He has also recorded a number of poetic compositions.
He took part in TV productions from the very beginning of the TV in Bulgaria (1959). He acted in the following TV theater performances:
- “During a Rainy Autumn” (1963)
- “ The Kalinkovs” (1968)
- “A Matter of Life and Death” (1974)
- “Die as a Last Resort ” (1978)
- “Poison in the Spring” (1978)
- “This Small Land” (1978)
- “Berlin Terminal” (1982)
- “The Bronze Key” (1984)
- “Constantine Philosopher” (1986)
- “I Confess Everything” (1989), etc.
Andrey Chaprazov acted in movies since 1944. Filmography:
- “Shipka’s Heroes” (1955)
- “The Tracks Remain” (1956)
- “That Happened in the Street” (1956)
- “Golemanov” (1958)
- “Home on Two Streets” (1960)
- “Expert in Everything” (1962)
- “The Black Angels” (1970)
- “Love” (1972)
- “Glow Above Drava” (1974)
- “Annex to the State Defence Law” (1976)
- “Warm” (1978), etc.
Andrey Chaprazov died on 23th August 1999 in Sofia.