Bulgarian-born opera singer Nicolai Ghiaurov, who played memorable roles in Milan's La Scala and continued singing until earlier this year, died today (June 2) at a private clinic near his home in Mod

Bulgarian-born opera singer Nicolai Ghiaurov, who played memorable roles in Milan's La Scala and continued singing until earlier this year, died today (June 2) at a private clinic near his home in Modena, central Italy. He was 74.

Ghiaurov suffered a fatal heart attack after about three weeks in the facility, said Dr. Pasquale Maglieri of the Hesperia Hospital clinic.

Born in Velingrad, Bulgaria, the bass trained in Sofia and Moscow. He made his debut in Italy in 1957 in Bologna, before starting an international career with his rendition of Varlaam in the opera "Boris Godunov" at La Scala in 1960, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

In January, he was still singing, performing the role of Don Basilio in Rossini's "Barber of Seville" at the Malebran theater in Venice, ANSA said.

Ghiaurov is survived by his wife, the Italian soprano Mirella Freni.



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