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Nicolai Ghiaurov

Biography

Born: September 13, 1929   Died: June 2, 2004  
Ghiaurov excelled in both the Slavic and the Italian and French operatic repertoire, and he also moved with ease from serious to comic roles, though the serious roles played a greater part in his career. At times, he even took on some of the lower baritone roles, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen. He was also noted for his acting and compelling stage presence. During his prime, his voice was among the richest and most sonorous Read more basses of the twentieth century, and even as much of its freshness and bloom was gone toward the end of his career, it retained its expressiveness and technical excellence.

Though his family was quite poor, they encouraged him to explore his interest in singing, and when he entered adolescence, he borrowed instruments so he could learn clarinet, violin, and trombone. He also began to take acting lessons, briefly considering a career as an actor rather than a musician. When he entered the army, where he was a clarinetist and conducted the chorus, his singing talents came to the attention of the authorities, who enabled him to study with Christo Brambarov, and later at the Moscow Conservatory. His studies were conservative -- for the first year, he did nothing but vocal exercises over one octave -- a fact to which he attributed his spectacular vocal longevity. Brambarov introduced him to Italian style, a rarity for Russian singers during that time. He made his stage debut as Don Basilio in Rossini's The Barber of Seville at the Sofia Opera in 1955 and made his Bolshoi debut as Pimen in Boris Godunov in 1957. His Italian debut was as Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust at the Teatro Communale in Rome the next year. His Covent Garden debut came in 1962 as the Padre Guardiano in Verdi's La forza del destino. At the 1965 Salzburg Festival, he first sang the title role of Boris Godunov, a role generally considered the greatest challenge in the Russian bass repertoire. Aside from opera, he frequently performed and recorded Russian songs. Ghiaurov has established a place in musical history through his recorded legacy. His Boris was recorded commercially twice, once each in the "original" and Rimsky-Korsakov versions. He recorded Don Carlos in the studio three times, twice as Filippo and once (in the original French version) as the Grand Inquisitor. His early London/Decca aria recitals accurately document the size and beauty of his voice. He is also heard in Giulini's recording of Verdi's Requiem.

He was married to Italian soprano Mirella Freni and participated in guiding her into her forays into the Russian repertoire, notably Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Lisa in Pique Dame. Read less
Verdi: Ernani / Muti, Domingo, Bruson, Freni, Ghiaurov
Release Date: 08/31/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2033   Number of Discs: 1
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Cherubini: Medea / Schippers, Callas, Vickers, Ghiaurov
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Myto Records  
Catalog: 292   Number of Discs: 2
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Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina / Abbado, Ghiaurov, Atlantov, Marusin
Release Date: 05/26/2009   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 42   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Patane, Carreras, Caballe, Cappuccilli, Ghiaurov
Release Date: 03/15/2011   Label: Hardy Classics  
Catalog: 4046   Number of Discs: 2
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Borodin: Prince Igor / Tchakarov, Ghiaurov
Release Date: 05/28/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94608   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 126-150 of 211 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Verdi: Macbeth / Gardelli, Pavarotti, Fischer-Dieskau, Souliotis
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440048 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  David Reed,  Luciano Pavarotti,  John Noble,  Raymond Myers  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 127.
    The Voice Of Romance / Bartoli, Bergonzi, Carreras, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472630 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Eldo Di Lazzaro,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Susanne Marsee,  Beverly Sills  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan,  Henry Mancini,  Leone Magiera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mancini Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 128.
    The Compact Opera Collection - Gounod: Faust /Bonynge, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470563 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Robert Massard,  Margreta Elkins  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 129.
    Golden - Galakonzert Nicolai Ghiaurov - Munich 1966 / Pretre
    Label: Melodram   Catalog: 40061 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Chenikov,,  Charles Gounod,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Karl Kreille
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 130.
    The Dream Cast - Puccini: La Bohème / Alagna, Bocelli, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472619 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Ettore Bastianini,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Chailly,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 131.
    Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin / Solti, Weikl, Kubiak, Burrows
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 071124 Release Date: 09/24/2002  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Julia Hamari,  Teresa Kubiak,  Stuart Burrows,  Bernd Weikl  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 132.
    Verdi: Don Carlo / Sir Georg Solti, Bergonzi, Tebaldi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421114 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Tugomir Franc,  Joan Carlyle,  Grace Bumbry,  Jeanette Sinclair  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    On sale! $44.98
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  • 133.
    Verdi: Ernani
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47083 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Renato Bruson,  Placido Domingo,  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 134.
    Recitals - Giulietta Simionato - Arias & Scenes
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 2108 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Giulietta Simionato,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Franco Corelli
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Nino Sanzogno,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Lovro von Matacic
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  • 135.
    Recitals - Mirella Freni - Arias & Scenes
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 2105 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Sesto Bruscantini,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Nino Sanzogno,  Riccardo Muti,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
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  • 136.
    Verdi: Requiem, Te Deum / Abbado, Scotto, Horne, Pavarotti
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1352 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Renata Scotto,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Chorus Milan
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  • 137.
    Essential Rossini - 23 Of His Greatest Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472213 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Henry Lewis,  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 138.
    Verdi: Macbeth / Abbado, Cappuccilli, Verrett, Ghiaurov, Etc
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1337 Release Date: 04/02/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Alfredo Mariotti,  Antonio Zerbini,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Nicola Martinucci  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 139.
    Opera Obsession! - Opera D'oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 03/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Martina Arroyo,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Alfredo Kraus  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Armando La Rosa Parodi,  Arturo Basile,  Peter Maag  ... 
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  • 140.
    The Great Renata Tebaldi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470280 Release Date: 01/15/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Mario Del Monaco,  Lydia Marimpietri,  Carlo Bergonzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Alberto Erede,  Fausto Cleva  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $17.99
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  • 141.
    Verdi: Macbeth (Highlights), Etc / Tebaldi, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469319 Release Date: 01/15/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nikita Storojev,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
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  • 142.
    Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Solti, Bergonzi, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1325 Release Date: 01/08/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Josephine Veasey,  Floriana Cavalli,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Rhydderich Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
    On sale! $27.98
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  • 143.
    The Pavarotti Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470000 Release Date: 11/13/2001   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Antonio Caldara,  Vincenzo Ciampi,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Montserrat Caballé,  Jane Shaulis,  John Wustman  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész,  Piero Gamba,  Nicola Rescigno,  Peter Maag  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD not available
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  • 144.
    Great Performances - Maria Callas
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 5001 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Luigi Cherubini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Alfredo Giacomotti,  Ivana Tosini,  Edith Martelli,  Limbania Leoni  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Guido Picco,  Umberto Mugnai,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Mexico City Palacio de Bellas Artes Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
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  • 145.
    Verdi: The Tenor Arias / Placido Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471335 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Wladimiro Ganzarolli,  Gwynne Howell,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Valery Gergiev,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 146.
    Domingo - The Verdi Tenor
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471478 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Rosalind Plowright,  Placido Domingo,  Walter Gullino,  Sergei Leiferkus  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Carlos Kleiber,  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 147.
    A Portrait Of Pavarotti - Highlights From Pavarotti Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470050 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Robert Kerns,  Ida Bormida  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno,  Richard Bonynge,  Piero Gamba,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $36.99
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  • 148.
    The Singers - Franco Corelli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467918 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Riccardo Zandonai,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Renata Tebaldi,  Alfredo Mariotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Anton Guadagno,  Lorin Maazel,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Léman Chorus  ... 
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  • 149.
    Verdi: Aida / Muti, Caballé, Domingo, Cossotto, Ghiaurov
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67617 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Placido Domingo,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Military School Fanfare Trumpeters,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 150.
    Essential Puccini - 36 of His Greatest Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460969 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  José Carreras,  Mario Del Monaco,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Franco Capuana,  Herbert von Karajan,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra  ... 
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