soprano drammatico d'agilità of supreme mastery
a stalwart in the art of singing
Accolades for Nicolesco and Muti in Don Giovanni at La Scala
Nicolesco was born in Romania where she studied the violin,
graduating with the Bruch Concert and starting immediately
after her vocal studies at the Cluj-Napoca Conservatory. Having
won a scholarship at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, she
went to Rome to study with Jolanda Magnoni who soon discovered
the real nature of her voice, a major liryc soprano born to
become a drammatico d'agilità
and at the same time a soprano d'agilità
drammatica. Later she studied with Rodolfo Celletti in
Milan and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. On completing her studies
at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, she won the Rossini
International Voice Competition organized by the Italian Radio
Television, RAI. The doors of the most prestigious opera houses
in the world were opened to her.
soprano was frenetically applauded in the most renowned opera
houses, Teatro alla Scala in Milan where she featured for
the first time in the world premiere of Luciano Berio's La
Vera Storia and later in many new productions, recitals
and concerts, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Munich,
San Francisco, Vienna, Paris, Hamburg, Chicago, Barcelona,
Dresden, Tokyo, Berlin, Monte Carlo, Rome, at the Salzburg
Festival and the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. She appeared
in major productions by Giorgio Strehler, Patrice Chéreau,
Luca Ronconi, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Franco Zeffirelli, Pier
Luigi Pizzi, Jonathan Miller, under the direction of Carlo
Maria Giulini, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Osawa,
Lorin Maazel, Peter Maag, Filippo Patanè and Colin
Davis. She performed in the most famous concert halls, Carnegie
Hall in New York, Royal Festival Hall in London, Accademia
di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Musikverein
in Vienna and the Great Conservatory Hall in Moscow.
1991, she sang to great acclaim for the first time in her
life in her native country after a twenty one year absence.
In 1993, she featured in a memorable concert at the Romanian
Athenaeum, celebrating the National Philharmonic Orchestra's
125th anniversary and, in 1998, its 130th anniversary. People
in their thousands come to the Civic Centre and the Esplanade
of the Danube in Braila to welcome her at every recital and
concert she gives in support of the Hariclea Darclée
International Voice Competition she created to honour
the memory of the legendary soprano Hariclea Darclée,
the first interpreter of Puccini's Tosca, born in
that city in 1860. In the years between one edition of the
contest and the next, she conducts Master classes for
arresting personality captivated audiences around the world
ever since her first Violetta in La Traviata, with Thomas
Schippers conducting a Giancarlo Menotti's production in Florence
. She sang the role more than two hundred times. Other roles
in her Verdi's repertoire include Gilda in Rigoletto,
Desdemona in Otello, Leonora in Il Trovatore
and Amelia in Simon Boccanegra also recorded on CD.
sang in concert and recorded on CD the world premiere of Meyerbeer's
cantata Gli amori di Teolinda as well as Ravel's
cantatas Alyssa and Alcyone. Her Mozart performances
include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) under Sawallisch
in Munich and Muti at La Scala, Cinna (Lucio Silla)
at La Scala, Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito), Elettra
(Idomeneo) under Ozawa in Tokyo and Salzburg. She
also starred at La Scala in the baroque repertoire: L'Orfeo
by Luigi Rossi and Fetonte by Niccolo Jommelli.
Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda at La Fenice in Venice,
Mariana Nicolesco established herself as a true soprano drammatico
d'agilità in the belcanto repertoire. Her
recording of this opera is considered a landmark in Bellini's
belcanto achievements are her performances in Donizetti's
Maria di Rohan, Roberto Devereux, Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda,
her belcanto recitals and galas at La Scala in Milan, Carnegie
Hall in New York or Moscow
's Great Conservatory Hall.
sang at the first Christmas Concert televised worldwide from
the Vatican and watched by one billion people. She starred
at the world premiere of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki's
masterpiece, Seven Gates of Jerusalem, dedicated
to the 3000 year anniversary of the Holy City, Lorin Maazel
conducting. The soprano part was composed for her voice.
set of 3 CDs Mariana Nicolesco in Romania and a video-cassette
with the fame title were recently released with a selection
of arias recorded live in concerts or recitals in
her native country in the last ten years.
Nicolesco lent support to Romanian orphanages and to the promotion
of young artists of exceptional talent. In New York, she created
The Romanian Atheneum International Foundation Inc.
which helped restore the Atheneum's organ and the magnificent
1888 Romanian Atheneum Concert Hall in Bucharest. The Foundation
and Mariana Nicolesco have donated a Steinway grand concert
piano. In Brasov she organized in 1993 the first National
Festival and Romanian Song Competition and in Venice,
she organized the first National Festival, the Romanian Song
Competition and, in Venice, The Gran Gala UNESCO-UNICEF Romania.
Nicolesco is an Honorary Member of the Romanian National Council
for the Protection of the Child and of the Romanian National
Committee for UNICEF, an Honorary Citizen of Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca,
President of the Darclée Foundation and Honorary President
of the Hariclea Darclée International Voice
Competition which was held in 2005 from July 19 to 31, celebrating
10 years of great music, style and art since its creation
by the great soprano. It is the most important music event
ln Romania and one of the most important worldwide. Mariana
Nicolesco offered the Romanian young artists and public a
great and fantastic school of art and magnificent opportunities
to the young artists.
Nicolesco is a Ph.D. in Arts from the Cluj-Napoca Academy
of Music, Doctor Honoris Causa of the same Academy, Honorary
Professor and Doctor Honoris Causa of the Transilvania
University in Brasov, Honorary Member of the Romanian
Academy and a member of the Honorary Committee of the International
Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.
was made a Grand Officer of the National Order the Star of
Romania and Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
by the French Government. She received the UNESCO Medal
for Artistic Achievements and was awarded the title of UNESCO
Artist for Peace. She is a Commander for the Order of the
Star of Italian Republic. She was proclaimed The Most Successful
Woman in Romania. In Berlin, she was proclaimed Musician of
the Year for her extraordinary performances and for everything
she does for the young generation. A
great voice for the Renaissance of Culture”.
recent study shows that, in the long history of the Teatro
alla Scala in Milan, Mariana Nicolesco is the soprano who
appeared in the most prime assolute.
2005, commemorating 50 years since the great Romanian composer
passed away, Mariana Nicolesco presented in world premiere
concert George Enescu's Complete Songs. A s a result of the
great success of the evening, transmitted by the Romanian
national TV programs, Mariana Nicolesco and her young friends
were invited for a Gala Concert dedicated to Enescu's
Songs at the World Exhibition in Japan.
5 I Pagliacci –
fiamma avea nel guardo sung by Mariana Nicolesco
6 Aida –
pietà sung by Mariana Nicolesco
7 Tosca –
d'arte sung by Mariana Nicolesco
8 La Traviata –
del passato sung by Mariana Nicolesco
Audio 9 Anna
Bolena – Al dolce guidami castel natio sung by Mariana
files are expensive items to publish and maintain. Our monthly
expenses have become unsustainable unless audio files are
left out or their publication made conditional upon receiving
donations. Currently, we believe in adopting the second option.
will help towards the cost of inputting the audio files, disc
space and traffic. We acknowledge donations only by the name
of donors, in the home page.
update of the Donation Record table for the audio files is
in the home page. Please click the “Make a Donation”
button located in the RHS column of the home page to start
an easy and secure donation procedure. Your contribution
will be appreciated.
the Great soprano Mariana Nicolesco a soprano drammatico
lirico-spinto or lirico-drammatico?
Like the voice of the divina Callas and that of the historical
Pantaleoni (Verdi's first Desdemona), Nicolesco's voice is
multiple. Three voices in one: lirico-spinta, lirico-drammatica
and drammatica d'agilità,
the last superimposed on the first two. She is able to adopt
any of the three fully, depending on the role and composer
Nicolesco seems to take on most features of a soprano
in operas by Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Mozart. In the
roles of historically supposed young composers of the new
school with Puccini and Catalani in the forefront, the voice
beautifully displays most features of a soprano lirico-spinto.
There is one prominent exception: in Verdi's La Traviata,
which is her ‘cavallo di battaglia' (war horse), she is a
lirico-drammatico with so much expression. What does
allow her to be so versatile?
Romanian soprano has a superb voice, technique and style.
Her pianissimi are languid, her mezzavoce
is captivating, her timbre is sensuous and carnal, the upper
register is glorious and the Italian diction is perfect declamation.
She is an absolute master of crescendo, namely, attacking
a note pianissimo and amplifying the sound slowly and gradually
up to forte with an extraordinary breath control. To achieve
all of this, she has a supreme mastery.
- Accolades in gallery
a registered user of gallery, writes:
Bravissima e grazie Mariana
has an imperious and vibrant timbre.
She colours her performance with nuances of drama and vehemence.
She has a great passion in singing and an assured technique.
Mariana Nicolesco's voice, full and fluent , has a certain
tragic elegance of tone.
Teatro alla Scala
ti chiama ancora.
Grazie Divina per tutte le tue fantastiche produzioni alla
Scala e al Teatro dell' Opera di Roma.
Ci ricordiamo tutti della tua fantastica Traviata.
Bravissima in tutti i punti di vista.
a registered user of gallery, writes:
an incredible performance!
very glad to hear again the fantastic voice of Mariana Nicolesco.
Nicolesco has that extremely rare capability of reducing her
large voice to a couloured , menacing murmur from which the
totaly of the voice suddenly erupts with magnificent immediacy
and great energy.
all love you great Mariana Nicolesco.