Tuesday 18 April 2006
Ludovic Spiess, opera singer and administrator: born Cluj, Romania 13 May 1938; died near Alexandria, Romania 28 January 2006.
The Romanian tenor Ludovic Spiess specialised in dramatic Italian roles by Verdi and Puccini. He was also very effective in Russian and Czech opera, which seemed to suit his voice particularly well. A fine concert singer, together with Janet Baker he sang Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1975. Unfortunately, damage to his vocal cords meant that Spiess had to retire from singing at a comparatively early age.
Spiess was born in 1938 in Cluj, in Transylvania. He left school early and went to work in a factory at Brasov, where he sang in the works choir. He had some singing lessons, then studied at the Music Academy in Bucharest. He made his stage début at Galati as the Duke in Rigoletto in 1962 and then sang for a couple of years at the Bucharest Operetta Theatre. In 1964 he graduated to the National Theatre in Bucharest and after further study in Milan with Antonio Narducci, won a singing competition at Toulouse, which gave him an entry to the international opera circuit.
Spiess made his début at the Salzburg Festival in 1967 as Grigori/ Dmitri in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. The following year, he sang Radames in Aida at Zurich, where he was a frequent visitor. He also established a connection with the Vienna State Opera, where he made a notable début with the title role of Smetana's Dalibor. In 1968 he made his American début, as Calaf in Puccini's Turandot at San Francisco.
The tenor concentrated on Verdi roles during the first half of the 1970s. He was not a subtle artist and had little skill as an actor, but he was a generous singer who, when in good voice, could transmit the pleasure he obviously took in singing to the audience.
In the second half of the 1970s, damage to his vocal cords brought Spiess's operatic career virtually to an end. After the Communist regime in Romania was overthrown, he became Minister of Culture from 1992 to 1993, and from 2001 to 2005 he was chief administrator of the National Opera in Bucharest.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...
£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...