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
Browse 126-150 of 224 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    The # 1 Puccini Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000300702 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Mario Del Monaco,  Renata Tebaldi,  Rolando Panerai,  Elizabeth Harwood  ... 
    Conductor:  Franco Capuana,  Herbert von Karajan,  Zubin Mehta,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 127.
    My Figure Skating Album - All The Favourite Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000186102 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Tamás Vásáry,  Gil Shaham,  Luben Yordanoff,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Daniel Barenboim,  William Steinberg,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 128.
    Grand Tier - Verdi: Aida / Abbado, Arroyo, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7002 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Piero Cappuccilli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Luigi Roni,  Piero de Palma  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 129.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Karajan, Ghiaurov, Von Halem, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 615033 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sir Geraint Evans,  Teresa Zylis-Gara,  Stuart Burrows,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $54.49
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  • 130.
    Puccini: Opera Arias / Pavarotti, Freni, Sutherland, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000122702 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Bruno Prevedi,  Leona Mitchell,  Virginia Zeani,  Michel Sénéchal  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Franco Patanè,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 131.
    The Splendours Of Russian Opera
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458216 Release Date: 10/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Alexei Maslennikov,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Regina Resnik,  Bernd Weikl  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Herbert von Karajan,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 132.
    Verdi: Attila / Sinopoli, Ghiaurov, Cappuccilli, Zampieri
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 601032 Release Date: 07/29/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Mara Zampieri,  Piero Visconti  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $39.99
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  • 133.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godounov / Karajan, Ghiaurov, Vishnevskaya
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411862 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexei Maslennikov,  Martti Talvela,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Olivera Miljakovic  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 134.
    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
    On sale! $31.98
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  • 135.
    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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  • 136.
    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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  • 137.
    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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  • 138.
    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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  • 139.
    Operamania
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 44120 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Umberto Giordano,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Marilyn Horne,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Renata [Soprano vocal] Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Franco Patanè,  Henry Lewis,  Tullio Serafin,  Nello Santi  ... 
    On sale! $43.98
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  • 140.
    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
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 141.
    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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  • 142.
    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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  • 143.
    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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  • 144.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 145.
    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
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 146.
    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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  • 147.
    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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  • 148.
    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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  • 149.
    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
    CD: $13.99
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  • 150.
    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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