Nelly Miricioiu was born in Adjud, in Romania, where she made début as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Shortly afterwards she became a soloist at the opera-house in Brasov, where her rôles included Violetta in La traviata, Mimi in La boheme, Gilda in Rigoletto and Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen. The winner of international prizes, she undertook further study in Italy, and in 1981 decided to settle in Western Europe, making her home in London. Her first rôles in Britain included Violetta, Tosca and Manon Lescaut for Scottish opera, with which she appeared at the opening of the 1982 Edinburgh International Festival.
The following years brought various international engagements. Nelly Miricioiu made her Convent Garden début in 1982 as Nedda, opposite the the tenor John Vickers, and at the Paris Opera in the three soprano rôles of Les contes de Hoffmann. In 1983 she appeared in Frankfurt with Alfredo Kraus in La traviata and in the same year she made her début at La Scala in Lucia di Lammermoor. She sang Violetta in San Francisco, and appeared also in Dallas, Philadelphia, Hamburg and in Australia.
Nelly Miricioiu made her début at the Vienna State Opera as Manon Lescaut under the direction of Giuseppe Sinopoli in 1986, and in Rome with the rôle of Mimi opposite Francisco Araiza, following this with the same rôle in Madrid opposite Placido Domingo. 1987 brought her first Lucrezia Borgia in Montpellier and her introduction to the Berlin public in Tosca. She sang Violetta in the Arena at Verona in the summer of the same year. Other rôles include Gounod’s Mireille and Marguerite in Faust, Jaroslavna in Prince Igor, Anna Bolena, and the Queen in Szymanowski’s King Roger.
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