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 Méphistophélčs 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
Donizetti: Anna Bolena / Varviso, Souliotis, Ghiaurov
Release Date: 11/11/1997   Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series  
Catalog: 455069   Number of Discs: 3
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Verdi: Don Carlo / Ghiaurov, Prevedi, Abbado, Et Al
Release Date: 05/30/2000   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1239   Number of Discs: 3
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Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Tchakarov, Ghiaurov, Ghiuselev
Release Date: 11/15/1991   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 45763   Number of Discs: 3
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Verdi: Attila / Sinopoli, Ghiaurov, Cappuccilli, Zampieri
Release Date: 07/29/2003   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 601032   Number of Discs: 2
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Mozart: Don Giovanni / Karajan, Ghiaurov, Von Halem, Et Al
Release Date: 10/21/2003   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 615033   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 51-75 of 148 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Verdi: Aida / Muti, Domingo, Ghiaurev, Caballe, Roni
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40630 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Luigi Roni,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Trumpeters of the Royal Military School of Music,
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  • 52.
    Bravo Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001480402 Release Date: 10/19/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Tom Krause,  Montserrat Caballé,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Richard Bonynge,  Bruno Bartoletti,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 53.
    Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina / Ghiaurov, Ghiuselev, Tchakarov
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45831 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Zdravko Gadjev,  Kaloudi Kaloudov,  Stoyan Popov  ... 
    Conductor:  Emil Tchakarov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia National Opera Orchestra,  Sofia National Opera Chorus
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  • 54.
    Massenet: Don Quichotte / Kord, Crespin, Ghiaurov, Bacquier
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 430636 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Gabriel Bacquier,  Michčle Command,  Régine Crespin,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Kazimierz Kord,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Radio Chorus,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala 1991 - 25th Anniversary At Lincoln Center
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001431609 Release Date: 06/22/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilča,  Mitchell Leigh,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Placido Domingo,  Mirella Freni,  Samuel Ramey  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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  • 56.
    Berlioz: Romeo Et Juliette, Harold En Italie / Lorin Maazel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425053 Release Date: 06/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Michel Sénéchal,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  ORTF Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Verdi: Nabucco / Muti, Scotto, Obraztsova, Luchetti
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 56447 Release Date: 04/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Veriano Luchetti,  Elena Obraztsova,  Matteo Manuguerra,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Donizetti: Lucia Di Lammermoor Highlights / Sutherland, Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421885 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 59.
    Gounod: Faust Highlights / Bonynge, Sutherland, Corelli
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 421861 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Franco Corelli,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Robert Massard  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Nicolai Ghiaurov - Opera Gala
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 421872 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Georges Bizet,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Olivera Miljakovic
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Richard Bonynge,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Verdi: Macbeth Highlights / Gardelli, Ghiaurov, Suliotis, Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421889 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Elena Suliotis,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Ricardo Cassinelli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 62.
    Metropolitan Opera Centennial Gala (1983)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001326309 Release Date: 09/15/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Renato Bruson,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $32.99
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  • 63.
    Verdi: Simon Boccanegra / De Fabritiis, Cappuccilli, Ricciarelli
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4484 Release Date: 04/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Piero Cappuccilli,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Giorgio Merighi,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo
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  • 64.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prętre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Icon - Mirella Freni - The Opera Singer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06253 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Mirella Freni,  José Carreras,  Katia Ricciarelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Franco Ferraris,  Alain Lombard,  Leone Magiera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Nessun Dorma - Puccini's Greatest Arias / Pavarotti, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001109602 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Richard Van Allan,  Mirella Freni,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno,  Zubin Mehta,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 67.
    Christa Ludwig - Arias & Scenes - Live Recordings 1955-1994
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 758083 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Hans Pfitzner  ... 
    Performer:  Christa [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Ludwig,  Ludwig Welter,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Karl Dönch  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Alberto Erede,  Herbert von Karajan,  Georges Prętre  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 68.
    Ruggero Raimondi - Italian Opera Arias
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69549 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Martina Arroyo
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    A Night at the Opera - The World's Greatest Operas
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9810 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sesto Bruscantini,  Franco Calabrese,  Mirella Freni,  Alessandro Maddalena  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Sir Georg Solti,  Claudio Abbado,  Nino Verchi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 70.
    Franco Corelli - 7 Complete Operas
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9902 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Tito Gobbi,  Mafalda Micheluzzi,  Mario Carlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Lovro von Matacic,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Milan,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 71.
    French Opera Masterworks
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9802 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Oralia Dominguez,  Jon Vickers,  Ernest Blanc,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Fournet,  Sir Georg Solti,  Georges Prętre,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 72.
    Verdi - The Greatest Operas
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9801 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Karl Ridderbusch,  Carlo Cossutta,  Ewald Aichberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Herbert von Karajan,  Nino Verchi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Florence Teatro Comunale Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    The Premium Collection - 75 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000988602 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Wolfgang Herzer,  Göran Söllscher  ... 
    Conductor:  Baumgartner,  Neeme Järvi,  Seiji Ozawa,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Strings
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  • 74.
    Mirella Freni- Great Opera Duets
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63665 Release Date: 09/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Mirella Freni,  Sesto Bruscantini,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Riccardo Muti,  Otto Klemperer,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    Opera Stories: An In-Depth Look at Ten Operas
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4228 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Vladimir Atlantov,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Fiorenza Cossotto  ... 
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