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Happy Birthday, Ileana Cotrubaș!

Monday, 10 June 2024 , ora 10.39

Many and glorious were the Romanian lyrical artists who crossed the threshold of the 1970s in their full maturity, managing to highlight the merits of the Romanian School of Singing.

Many, glorious... among whom only a few have truly remained in the history of the world's lyrical theater, as has the one to whom Opera Night will dedicate a special edition on Saturday, the day before her 85th birthday: soprano ILEANA COTRUBAȘ.

Born on the 9th of June of 1939, in the city of Galați and a graduate in 1963 of the Bucharest Conservatory, Ileana Cotrubaș made her debut on the lyrical stage in Bucharest during the 3rd edition of the "George Enescu" International Festival (the 8th of September, 1964) - performing the role of Yniold in Debussy's opera "Pelleas et Melisande" - in such a way that her debut was immediately noticed. Talent manifests immediately; even in seemingly "small" roles - wrote an experienced critic, Alfred Hoffman; so that, the following year, after seeing her at the Opera in the role of Oscar (also a small role!) in the performance of "A Masked Ball," musicologist George Bălan gave the verdict: Ileana Cotrubaș gave us a delight that we distinguish only in great talents.

It was therefore natural that such "material" would find its stage quickly, both in Bucharest and worldwide. Especially since the recognition of her value also came in the form of awards won by the young soprano at important competitions, such as: the International Singing Competitions in Hertogenbosch (where she won First Prize with a Gold Medal in the Lied Section) and Munich (where she became the grand winner). Thus, in 1965, the entire Dutch press noted, with praise, the success of the young romanian - who demonstrated exceptional mastery in the interpretation of the lied; and in 1966, the German press declared - under the signature of a critic from the magazine "Kultur und Kritik" - With Cotrubaș, one already feels the fluid of a great artistic personality

But we will not fully recount here the career and achievements of this exceptional artist; and not now. Instead, on Saturday, from 7:00 PM, in an anniversary broadcast where - besides continuing this biography, details of their encounters with Ileana Cotrubaș will be shared by: Russian soprano Elena Tsallagova, mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu, tenor Alexandru Badea, and music critic Costin Popa. A broadcast - as usual, rhythmically blending words with music, and the concrete details of an exceptional career with the ineffable sentiment...

Luminița Arvunescu
Translated by Miruna-Gabriela Flipache,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu