Leonid Sobinov (1872-1934) was an attorney before embarking on a singing career. While he was studying at the Moscow Conservatory he sang small roles with an Italian opera troupe which appeared in Moscow. His official debut (1897) was at the Imperial Opera in Moscow as Prince Sinodal in Rubinstein's Demon. He immediately became an idol, admired for his handsome stage presence and fine legato singing which, on occasion, could be overly saccharine. Sobinov was a humble man whose only sign of an ego was the unfulfilled demand to be paid the same wages as Chaliapin. He was generally well-liked by the press and his colleagues, which made it easier to overlook the vocal flaws that appeared to intensify proportionally with the amount of weight he gained over his thirty-five-year career. Sobinov was equally successful with his appearances outside of Russia, including visits to Monte Carlo, Covent Garden, Paris, La Scala, Madrid, and Berlin.