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Nicola Ghiuselev: A look back at his Covent Garden performances

The Bulgarian bass, who died recently, sang roles for The Royal Opera including Boris Godunov.

By Alasdair Steven (Music writer)

29 May 2014 at 4.14pm | Comment on this article

Nicola Ghiuselev had a rich, imposing bass voice, admired for its subtle timbre and impressive range. He made his Royal Opera debut in 1976, in the first ever production at the Royal Opera House of Verdi's I Lombardi alla prima crociata. Ghiuselev sang the role of Pagano with a cast that included José Carreras and Sylvia Sass, under conductor Lambert Gardelli.

Ghiuselev returned to the Royal Opera House in 1980, singing Dr Miracle in a magnificent new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann directed by John Schlesinger. Georges Prêtre conducted a cast that included Plácido Domingo in the title role and Ileana Cotrubaș as Antonia. Ghiuselev returned to sing the same role in the production's revival in 1982, opposite Leona Mitchell as Antonia.

Two years later in 1984, Ghiuselev returned to The Royal Opera to give an outstanding performance of the title role of Boris Godunov, in Andrei Tarkovsky's acclaimed 1983 production. One critic wrote how Ghiuselev captured the 'turmoil of the character and has an imposing, powerful, resonant, fascinatingly beautiful voice.'

Ghiuselev's final appearance with The Royal Opera was in 1990, singing Vladimir Igorevich in a new production of Prince Igor directed by Andrei Serban. Bernard Haitink conducted a cast that included Paata Burchuladze, Sergei Leiferkus and Anna Tomowa-Sintow, in an epic production that brought together The Royal Opera with members of The Royal Ballet to perform the 'Polovtsian Dances'.

What are your memories of seeing Nicola Ghiuselev perform?

By Alasdair Steven (Music writer)

29 May 2014 at 4.14pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Nicola Ghiuselev, obituary

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