26 October 2023

Philip Jenkins

Karajan artists: Nicolai Ghiaurov – a “re di bassi”

“The most notable Boris Godunov of his era”
The Telegraph

If Karajan really had an “artistic family”, as many people say, Nicolai Ghiaurov was definitely a member of it. Ghiaurov, born 1929 in Bulgaria, appeared 69 times on stage in Karajan productions between 1962 and 1980 and recorded such eminent parts with him as Boris Godunov, Don Giovanni and Philipp II.

Between 1978 and his death in 2004, Ghiaurov was married to his prominent colleague Mirella Freni and (much like Christa Ludwig and Walter Berry) they performed together in “Don Carlo”, “Don Giovanni”, “Aida”, “La Bohème” and the Verdi Requiem.

The adoptive Italian Ghiaurov, who was called “Re di bassi” (“King of basses”), also sang with Mirella Freni at the “Herbert von Karajan Memorial Concert” in Ulm in 2000.

We’ve prepared playlists with Karajan and Nicolai Ghiaurov. Listen to them here.

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