[Please contact Jo Fry for a current biography]
Superstar Angela Gheorghiu, the most glamorous and gifted opera singer of our time, was born in the small Romanian town Adjud. From early childhood it was obvious that she would become a singer, her destiny was music. She attended the Music School in Bucharest and graduated the National University of Music Bucharest, where she studied with the remarkable music teacher Mia Barbu. Ms. Gheorghiu’s magnificent voice and dazzling stage presence have established her as a unique international opera superstar.
Angela Gheorghiu made her international debut in 1992 at Royal Opera House Covent Garden with La Bohème. In the same year she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York and at the Vienna State Opera. It was in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden that she first sang her much acclaimed La Traviata in 1994, when the BBC cleared out its schedules to broadcast the opera. At one rehearsal the conductor Sir Georg Solti said: “I was in tears. I had to go out. The girl is wonderful. She can do everything.” The performance was also filmed and recorded by Decca. Newspapers and magazines noticed that “A star is born”. Since then Ms Gheorghiu has been in constant demand in opera houses and concert halls around the world: New York, London, Paris, Salzburg, Berlin, Tokyo, Rome, Seoul, Venice, Athens, Monte Carlo, Chicago, Philadelphia, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Valencia, Palermo, Balbeck, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Zürich, Vienna, Salzburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, Montreal, Moscow, Taipei, San Juan, Ljubljana.
Her first exclusive recording contract was signed in 1995 with Decca for whom she made several recordings: on DVD: La Traviata with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, L’elisir d’amore with Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, La Boheme with Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, and on CD: Arias with the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino, Verdi Heroines with the Orchestra Sinfonica di MIlano “Giuseppe Verdi”, My World and Mysterium with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Her next exclusive recording agreement was signed in 1998 with EMI Classics. She recorded an album of duets and arias with Roberto Alagna and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Puccini’s rarely recorded opera La Rondine with London Symphony Orchestra, Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with Orchestre National du Capitole du Toulouse and for the second album of duets with Roberto Alagna, Verdi per due, she worked together with Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Claudio Abbado.
Other EMI recordings are: Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi from Il Trittico, Massenet’s Werther with London Symphony Orchestra, Massenet’s Manon with Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie Brussels, Verdi’s Il Trovatore with London Symphony Orchestra and Bizet’s Carmen with Orchestre National du Capitole du Toulouse, the concert for Queen Beatrix’s Jubilee in Amsterdam (April 2005, CD and DVD) and the recital at Teatro alla Scala di Milano.
Her recital Casta Diva was followed by a live recording of Classics on a Summer’s Evening, the concert performed alongside with Staatskapelle Dresden, by Verdi’s Requiem with Berliner Philharmoniker and by the recital at the Royal Opera House in 2001, all released both on CD and DVD. The recording of a recital of Puccini arias in 2008 proved once more Ms. Gheorghiu’s profound musicality.
Angela Gheorghiu’s latest releases are the complete opera recordings of L’Amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni and Fedora by Umberto Giordano (both with Deutsche Grammophon). The live performance of La Rondine in the Metropolitan Opera (2009) as well as Faust from Royal Opera House (2004) were recently released on DVD by EMI Classics.
All her CDs have received widespread critical acclaim and have been awarded many prizes such as Gramophone Awards, Diapason d’Or Awards, Choc du Monde de la Musique in France, Cecilia Prize in Belgium, Deutsche Schallplattenkritik-Preis in Germany, the Echo Award, the Italian Musica e dischi Foreign Lyric Production Award, the USA Critics’ Award etc. Mrs Gheorghiu won the title of “Female Artist of the Year” at the Classical Brit Awards in 2001 and 2010.
In 1999 she took part with great success in a concert “Michael Jackson and Friends” in Munich. Mrs. Gheorghiu sang at the reopening of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (December 1999) and Teatro Malibran in Venice (23 May 2001) and at the opening new opera house in Valencia in the presence of the Queen Sofia of Spain (October 2005) . She sang at the historic performance Prom at the Palace on June,1, 2002 which marked the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a concert that is also available on DVD. She sang for HRH Prince of Wales on different occasions. In 2003 she performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.
In December 2000 Ms Gheorghiu performed the title role in Tosca, the movie directed by Benoit Jacquot. The film was released in theatres around the world and received popular and critical acclaim: “She is one of the most sensuous Toscas imaginable… Angela Gheorghiu’s passion and beauty are ideal for Tosca, as if the best qualities of Callas’ and Tebaldi’s portrayals had come together.” (Opera News, USA). Angela Gheorghiu attended the Venice Film Festival in 2001 when the movie was premiered. Ms. Gheorghiu also interpreted Juliette in the movie Romeo et Juliette released on DVD by Online Classics.
Among major appearances in the last ten years were the much acclaimed performances of La Rondine and Pagliacci at the Royal Opera House, Romeo et Juliette at the Choregies d’Orange and Salzburg Festival, Faust at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Royal Opera House and Monte Carlo Opera, Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House. There were also recitals in Salzburg (Salzburg Festival) and in Vienna (Musikverein) and concerts in Amsterdam (Queen Beatrix Jubilee Gala), in New York (the New Year’s Eve concert with the New York Philharmonic), Philadelphia and Los Angeles. All these appearances earned spectacular reviews.
In January 2006 she triumphed with La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Three months later, in April, she made her debut in Teatro alla Scala in Milano with a recital, in May she opened the Film Festival in Cannes. In June 2006 she made her stage debut in Tosca at the Royal Opera House in London in a new production that was dedicated to her. Then she returned to the Vienna State Opera for performances of La Boheme (November 2007) and to the Metropolitan Opera a run of Simon Boccanegra and a gala performance of La Traviata (March 2007).
Angela Gheorghiu performed again in La Traviata in Rome and Milano in 2007. She also had some much-acclaimed concerts in Paris (Salle Pleyel and Palais Garnier) and in Los Angeles. In September 2007 she performed the title role in the world premiere of the opera Marius et Fanny by Vladimir Cosma at Marseille Opera. Then she sang a series of much-praised performances of La Rondine in San Francisco. When Ms. Gheorghiu sang La Boheme at the Metropolitan in New York, the performance was transmitted in theatres to an audience of over one million and five hundred thousand people. Other performances broadcasted in theatres were La Traviata in Milan and in Rome and La Rondine in San Francisco and New York.
Last year she made her much-acclaimed debut in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, a new production of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. The Observer wrote: "It's hard to imagine anyone bettering Angela Gheorghiu in this part. Her voice, feather-light and creamy yet with a core of steel, matches the liquid way she moves on stage. She's a natural actress and made the improbable death scene heartbreakingly believable and her signature aria "Poveri fiori" simply unforgettable."
All these performances and recitals have confirmed Ms. Gheorghiu’s status as one of the most beloved stars of opera. For more than ten years she has been married to the French-Italian tenor Roberto Alagna. The wedding ceremony took place on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera New York, during a performance of La Boheme, in 1996 and was celebrated by the Mayor of New York, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani. Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna have immediately been considered the Golden Couple of Opera. They have sung many performances and recorded various CDs together. On June, 20, 2008 they performed in a much praised open-air concert in the Prospect Park in New York.
Ms. Gheorghiu was honoured with “La Medaille Vermeille de la Ville de Paris” and she was appointed an “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” and “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture and by her native country Romania. In December 2010 she was awarded the honorific title of “Doctor Honoris Causa” by the University of Arts in Iasi (Romania) and the “Star of Romania”, the highest decoration given by the by the President of Romania.
Future engagements include various concerts in Europe, America and Asia, Tosca and Faust at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.