Bulgarian Opera Singer Nikola Gyuzelev Dies at 77
Nikola Gyuzelev, a renowned Bulgarian opera singer, died on Friday morning at the age of 77.
Born in 1936 in the central-north Bulgarian city of Pavlikeni, Gyuzelev was one of the most prominent representatives of opera in Bulgaria.
His mother was a tailor (and occasional actor in amateur theaters) and his father was a gardener, but played the violin and even made musical instruments at home. Their son, Nikola, displayed an interest in singing since he was a child, and at the age of fifteen was already attracted to opera.
With a number of international awards behind him, he was known for combining features of the Bulgarian opera school with Italian bel canto and Slavic emotionality.
He was also a remarkable painter, having studied at Sofia's National Academy of Art in 1950s while preparing for his way up the ladder of international opera fame.