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Angela Gheorghiu (b1965)

As a child Ghiaurov was extremely musical, learning to play the violin, clarinet and trombone while also studying drama, which was his initial career choice. While serving in the army however, in which he conducted and played the clarinet, he was heard singing by an officer, who recommended him to Hristo Brambarov, a singing teacher and prominent baritone in Sofia who had trained in Italy. Studying with Brambarov at the Bulgarian State Conservatory from 1949, Ghiaurov learnt not only the Russian style of singing but also the Italian, which was unusual for Slavic singers at that time. Later he credited his vocal longevity to never pushing his voice in these early years: during his first year of study he worked on only one octave, just doing vocal exercises.

After a year with Brambarov, Ghiaurov attended the Moscow Conservatory from 1950 to 1955, the year in which he won the Grand Prix at the International Vocal Competition in Paris and the First Prize and a gold medal at the Fifth World Youth Festival in Prague, and also made his operatic stage debut as Don Basilio / Il barbiere di Siviglia in Sofia. Two years later he sang Pimen / Boris Godunov at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow and Ramphis / Aida at the Vienna State Opera, while in 1958 he appeared as Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust in Bologna.




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