Nelly Miricioiu (born March 31, 1952), great Romanian soprano, one of the most versatile artists of our day.
Born in Adjud, Romania, Nelly started singing at 5 and was hailed as a child prodigy. At 9 she started studying piano and at 14 she won her first singing contest, Young Talents, Great Hopes. At 18 she sung in Pergolesi's La serva padrona and joined the Conservatory in Iaşi where she continued her studies with Tiberiu Popovici. In 1972 she was the youngest contestant in the Francisco Vinas Musical Competition in Barcelona and in 1975 she won the first prize at the very first Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens. More 1st prizes followed at competitions in Geneva, Paris, Sofia, Oostende etc.
Nelly made her operatic debut in Mozart's Magic Flute, as the Queen of the Night at Iaşi Opera House, and continued to sing at Braşov Opera House between 1975-1978 in roles such as Mimi in La Bohème, Micaela in Carmen and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.
In 1981 she fled the communist regime and months later she debuted in Glasgow at the Scottish Opera as Violetta in La Traviata. Manon Lescaut and Tosca followed. A year later she had her big breakthrough and starred at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden as Nedda in I Pagliacci opposite John Vickers, Piero Cappuccilli and Thomas Allen. After her successful debut she became a household name at the Royal Opera House where she has sung for over two decades in roles such as Marguerite in Faust, Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann, Valentine in Les Huguenots, Norma, to name just a few. In 1996 she was trusted with the revival of the infamous Tosca production for Maria Callas. The revival was a huge success and established her as one of the best Tosca's seen on stage. She reprised her appearance as Tosca on the Royal Opera House stage in 2001 and in 2003 she enjoyed an immense success as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux by Donizetti of which a recording was later released by Opera Rara.
In 1983, Nelly Miricioiu was called to replace Luciana Serra in Milan, at Teatro alla Scala as Lucia di Lamermoor. Her debut on the demanding stage was an absolute triumph. There was unanimous praise from the critics and newspapers for her extraordinary performance. After this success, Nelly went on to sing on the stages of the most important opera houses in Europe such as Amsterdam, Bruxelles, Rome, Hamburg, Berlin, Geneva, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona etc. where she has been highly praised and acclaimed for her characterization of roles. Nelly has enjoyed also an extremely successful relationship with the Washington Opera.
She has a triumphant voice. The Romanian soprano show charisma, an imperious presence which is admirable in the way she pace herself through the vocal score which she does with a compelling style.