Corneliu Murgu
Corneliu Murgu

The Romanian tenor Corneliu Murgu was born in Timisoara, Romania, 25th of July 1948, and started his musical studies in his native town. Further studies followed in Italy at the Conservatory of Firenze, where he in 1976 was awarded the diploma “Maestro di Canto”, before beginning his classical training with Marcello del Monaco in Treviso, where Corneliu Murgu was taught the singular technique of lowering the larynx, employed by Marcello's elder brother, the great Mario del Monaco. In 1977 he got second in the singing competition of Vercelli and the year later he won the contest of Treviso - first prize.

Corneliu Murgu then debuted in 1978 at the Vienna State Opera with “Cavalleria Rusticana” in the role of Turiddu, leading Corneliu Murgu to practically all the major opera scenes of the world: Berlin, München, Frankfurt, Köln, Stuttgart, Zürich, Avignon, Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Lisboa, Las Palmas, Bilbao, Barcelona, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesbourg, Tokyo, New York and Odessa. After the opera contest in Treviso he sang for the first time in Italy in 1979, when he appeared as “Cavaradossi” in “Tosca” at the “La Felice” Theater from Venice. Then, follow the Italian Opera House from Roma, Scala from Milano, San Carlo from Napoli, Therme di Caracalla, Trieste and Arena di Verona where he obtained a great success in 1984. The US debut happened in 1982 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with the role “Riccardo” in “Un Ballo in Maschera”, a staging that also took him to Philadelphia, Pittsburg, New Orleans, Palm Beach and Denver. 1986 he stepped onto the stage of “La Scala in Milano”, where he performed “Radames” in “Aida”, followed by a much admired “Otello” in Verona.

He appeared more frequently as “Otello”, a role that has become one of his hallmarks, and which he performed in the “La Bastille” of Paris, at Montpellier and in Japan, followed by a recording for Koch Scwhann with Renato Bruson as Iago in 1992. In 1998, in Parma, he was awarded with the Verdi D'Oro price for his performances of the Venetian Moor, as Otello.

He debuted at London’s “Covent Garden” in 1996, where he sang the part of “Calaf” in Puccini’s “Turandot”.

Starting 1990, after the Romanian Revolution, Corneliu Murgu came back to his native places and song on all the major Opera Houses from Romania.

In 2000, for his very important and excellent carrier, the cities of his home town gave him the highest distinction: “Honor Citizen” of Timisoara. In the same year, he became the General Manager of the Timisoara Opera House and in 2004; because of his excellent manager competence the Timisoara Opera House obtains the title: The National Opera House. He retired from international carrier in 2003, his last performance being the role “Canio” in Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” at the Staatsoper in Vienna, dedicating himself from this point until present days only to the management carrier at the National Opera House from Timisoara.

In the period from 2000 until present days, Orchestra and the Choir of the Timisoara National Opera House has made a lot of artistic tours in Italy, Holland, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria. In March 2003 the ensemble of the Timisoara National Opera House was invited in Qatar with the performance of Verdi’s “Aida”. The second time when only the Orchestra was invited in Qatar they performed the World Premiere of the Opera: “Ib Sina”.

During his international carrier, Corneliu Murgu received from the President of Austria in 2002, with the highest Cultural Distinction: “Leteris et Artibus” - 1st Class for his excellent performance at Staatsoper Vienna during of his 25 years, and in the same year, from the President of Romania he received the highest Romanian Distinction: “Cultural Knight”.

During his carrier, being invited or organized by himself, Corneliu Murgu song in many Benefit Opera Gala’s. The most important event of this kind took place in January 1990 in Vienna, in the benefit of Romania, also in the other major events like: UNESCO or UNICEF Gala’s.

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The National Opera House from Timisoara, Romania is a cultural public institution subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, his activity being held on annual artistic seasons, performing opera, operetta, ballet and opera for children performances, at home as well abroad.  The National Opera House from Timisoara was establishing through Royal Decree no. 254/31st of March, 1946. The very first manager was Aca de Barbu.

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