Ghena Dimitrova


Ghena Dimitrova

Ghena Dimitrova ( _bg. Гена Димитрова) (May 6, 1941 – June 11, 2005) was a Bulgarian operatic soprano. Her voice was known for its power and extension used in operatic roles such as Turandot in a career spanning four decades.

Early career

Ghena Dimitrova was born in the Bulgarian village of Beglej in 1941. She started singing in the school choir and her powerful voice led to her being offered a place at the Sofia Conservatory studying under Cristo Brambarov between 1959 and 1964. While she was initially classified as a mezzo-soprano, she was recognised as a soprano in her second year.

After finishing her studies at the Sofia Conservatory, she started teaching singing. Her debut came in the mid-1960's as Abigaille in a Bulgarian National Opera production of Verdi's "Nabucco" after a couple of other sopranos had to drop out. Dimitrova learned the demanding role in a week to be ready for her debut. It is important to note that in these early recordings Dimitrova's voice had not yet reached its signature enormity and in many of these early Nabucco productions, the written, final High C is omitted in the cabaletta, "Salgo già". Later in her career, not only did she include these top notes, but she would become the template to whom all other Abigailes would inevitably and unfortunately be compared since it would only be unfair for them to be compared to Maria Callas to whom they would never get close to.

International career

Dimitrova won the Sofia International Singing Competition in 1970. Her prize included a couple of years studying at La Scala's Scuola di Perfezionamento.

She made her debut as Turandot in Treviso in 1975. She debuted at La Scala in 1983 performing the same role and she appeared in the same role in a video released by the Vienna State Opera in 1983. In 1988, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York performing the same role.

Dimitrova once said of the role: "Turandot may not be my favorite part, but it shows off the voice to great advantage. The way the music is written, you need a voice like a trumpet to do it justice."

Her debut in the United States was in 1981 performing the role of Elvira in "Ernani". She sang at the Barbican Arts Centre in Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" in 1983 before making her Covent Garden debut in the same year. Her late debut she later attributed simply to "politics".

Ghena worked with many young opera singers. One of her best students is the soprano Elena Baramova.

Dimitrova died in a Milan hospital in 2005. After her death the Bulgarian Government promised to establish a fund in her name for promising young singers.

External links

* [http://www.ghenadimitrova.com/english/biography.htm Official website]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=41:20745~T1 article at allmusic.com]
* [http://archivio.opera.it/English/Cantanti/Dimitrov.html ]
* [http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&id=1800130155&cf=info&intl=us Yahoo! entry of Turandot]
* [http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/music/11872965.htm Article on the death of Ghena Dimitrova]
* [http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=840111&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312 ABC article]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/13/arts/music/13dimi.html New York Times obituary]
* [http://site.operadatabase.com.site.hmt-pro.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=72 Dossier]


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