The tenor, Nikola Nikolov, was born in Sofia in 1925. At the age of 17 he studied with Sabcho Sabev. His debut was singing Pinkerton with the Varna Opera in 1947 where he remained until 1953. He continued with additional studies in Moscow. In 1951 the tenor was a winner in the Third Festival of Youth in Berlin. After joining the Sofia National Opera in 1955, he specialized in the Italian repertoire.
In 1954 and 1959 he guest appeared at the Bolshoi Theater Moscow, Leningrad, Riga and Kiev, and in 1958 appeared at the Festival of Spoletto. His debut with La Scala was on Feb. 11, 1955 singing the role of Hans in the Bartered Bride. Between 1959 and 1965, Nikola Nikolov appeared at the Wexford Festival, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, Leipzig, Berlin Staatsoper, Hamburg, San Carlo Naples, Barcelona, Geneva and Frankfurt.
In 1960 his debut with the Metropolitan Opera was as Don Jose in Carmen. Additional appearances followed in Belgrade, Zagreb, Munich, Belgium, Budapest and Bucharest. He celebrated his 70th birthday singing Don Jose and his 75th singing Manrico, both with the Sofia National Opera.
Major roles in his career included Manrico, Radames, Don Carlo, Turridu, Rololfo, Cavaradossi, Don Jose, Calaf in Turandot and Vasco da Gama in L'Africaine.
Recordings: Balkanton (Aida, Carmen) also produced by Melodiya, Harmonia Mundi (Aida), Decca (Boris Godunov), EJS (L'Africaine) and Laserlight (Carmen).
Puccini: Tosca E lucevan le stelle
Verdi: Aida Celeste Aida
Verdi: Il Trovatore Di quella pira
We are pleased to present him here in excerpts of Il trovatore and Turandot