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Angela Gheorghiu
(b 1965) Opera Singer

Angela Gheorghiu (born Angela Burlacu) (born September 7, 1965) in Adjud, Romania is one of the most renowned operatic singers of the 21st Century. Since her professional debut in 1990, she has sung as soprano leading roles at the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala Milan, and many other major opera houses in Europe and the United States. She has a substantial discography primarily with EMI Classics and Decca.

The daughter of a train driver, Gheorghiu was born in 1965 in Adjud, Romania. Along with her sister Elena Dan, she sang opera music from an early age. At age 14, Gheorghiu began to study singing at the Bucharest Music Academy, primarily under Mia Barbu. Her graduation in 1990 coincided with the overthrow of Nicolae Ceau┼čescu, enabling her to seek an international career immediately. Her professional opera debut took place at the Cluj Opera as Mimì in La bohème in 1990, the same year she won the Belvedere International Competition.

Gheorghiu made her international debut in 1992 at Covent Garden as Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She debuted at the Vienna State Opera as Adina in L'elisir d'amore and at the Metropolitan Opera as Mimi in La bohème. In 1994, she was auditioned by the conductor Sir Georg Solti for a new production of La traviata at the Royal Opera House. Her debut as Violetta led her to international stardom.

Gheorghiu has concentrated her repertoire on several different roles: Violetta, Mimì, Magda, Adina, and Juliette. In 2003, she debuted as Nedda in Pagliacci and as Marguerite in Faust. A soprano with a large range and a dark coloured voice, Gheorghiu is also able to sing spinto roles. She has recorded Tosca (also made into a film directed by the French Benoît Jacquot) and Leonora in Il trovatore for EMI and sang in her first Tosca at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2006. Her performance was an overall success, although because the famous Zeffirelli production of 1964 was replaced by a new production (which premiered with her), there was comparison between the Toscas of Gheorghiu and Maria Callas, for whom the Zeffirelli production was designed.

She has recorded many recital albums and complete opera recordings and often appears on television and in concerts. The EMI recording of Massenet's Manon with Angela Georghiu in the title role won the 2001 Gramophone Award for "Best Opera Recording", was nominated for "Best Opera Recording" in the 2002 Grammy Awards.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Angela Gheorghiu', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 January 2009, 18:28 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Angela_Gheorghiu&oldid=262133277>