Mariana Nicolesco

Mariana Nicol Francesco ( born November 28, 1948 in Găujani ) is a Romanian soprano.


Mariana Nicolesco first studied violin at the Music Academy in Brasov, then, for a short time, singing at the Conservatory of Cluj- Napoca, before she obtained a scholarship at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome, where she took singing lessons with Jolanda Magnoni. She then studied with Rodolfo Celletti and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

At the end of her training, she won the 1972 organized by RAI in Milan singing competition Voci Rossiniane. Immediately thereafter, they came as Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème, encouraged and engaged by the American conductor Thomas Schippers, to Cincinnati. In 1978 she made ​​her debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata, a role which she has sung more than two hundred times, and in 1982 at La Scala, where she in the world premiere of Luciano Berio's La Vera Storia, as well as in many further performances, recitals and concerts occurred.

She sang in Rome, Florence, Parma, Venice, Palermo, Munich, Vienna, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich, Paris, Monte Carlo, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, Washington, Boston, Toronto, Tokyo, Pretoria, Caracas or Rio de Janeiro. They also occurred in prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Festival Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Salle Pleyel in Paris, in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and the Salzburg Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Martina Franca Festival, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico.

She stood in the middle of major productions of Luchino Visconti, Giorgio Strehler, Patrice Chéreau, Luca Ronconi, Jean -Pierre Ponnelle, Franco Zeffirelli, Gian Carlo Menotti, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Jonathan Miller, under the direction of Carlo Maria Giulini, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Peter Maag, Giuseppe Patané, Alberto Zedda, Colin Davis, Georges Prêtre and Gennady Rozhdestvensky.

Mariana Nicol Francesco attended the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's Seven Gates of Jerusalem, dedicated to the Holy City and its 3000 years of history (1997). As a guest of Pope John Paul II, she sang in the first ever from the Vatican of Mondovisone TV televised Christmas concert, which was seen by over 1 billion people (1993).

In 1995, Mariana Nicolesco in Romania the Hariclea Darclée International Voice Competition and Festival, was attended by far, more than 1800 young talents from 47 countries and 5 continents. Between the festival editions, it offers master classes for young artists. She also founded the Romanian National Song Festival and Competition ( 2003). For the UNESCO proclaimed George Enescu year ( 2005) she presented together with the winners of the competition, the complete edition of the songs of Enescu. These were performed with great success in Romania, at the Aichi World Exhibition in Nagoya and Tokyo, Prague, Paris, Rome and New York. This complete edition was published on CD and DVD.

Mariana Nicolesco was give the Order Star of Romania with the rank of Grand Cross for " their extraordinary contributions, as well as a sign of high recognition for their entire career."

The special award from the European medal as part of the European Culture Award was awarded to Mariana Nicolesco " for their performance on a musical level, as a mentor of a new generation singing to transport Europe to Romania and, in turn, bring in Romanian culture to Europe ."

Francesco Nicol, winner of the UNESCO medal for artistic achievement, is also a UNESCO Artist for Peace " in recognition of their commitment to the musical heritage, artistic creation, the dialogue between cultures and their contribution to the promotion of the ideals of the organization. "


Mariana Nicol Esco has a broad repertoire from baroque to verismo and contemporary music, with emphasis on the operas of Mozart, Verdi and the bel canto. Among their most impressive roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Elettra in Idomeneo, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Cinna in Lucio Silla, Beatrice di Tenda, Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Elisabetta I in Roberto Devereux, Maria di Rohan, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, Desdemona in Otello, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, Leonora in Il trovatore, Luisa in Luisa Miller, Liù in Turandot, Mimi in La Boheme, Nedda in Pagliacci.


  • Ph.D. in Arts with a thesis in bel canto (2000)
  • Honorary member of the Romanian Academy (1993 )
  • Honorary Doctor of Music Gheorghe Dima Academy of Cluj- Napoca (1996 )
  • Honorary professor at the Babes- Bolyai University in Cluj- Napoca (2005)
  • Visiting Professor (2002) and an honorary doctorate (1999 ) at the University Transilvania Brasov
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (2003)
  • Honorary citizen of Bucharest ( 1991), Cluj -Napoca (1994 ), Braila ( 1995), Braşov (1999)
  • Musician of the Year, Berlin ( 2003)
  • Successful Woman of Romania ( 2004)
  • President of the International Foundation Romanian Atheneum (1991 )
  • President of the Darclée Foundation (1995 )
  • Bearer of the highest Romanian Order, the Grand Cross of the Star of Romania ( 2008)
  • Officer of the Order of Arts and Literature in France ( 2000)
  • Commander of the Order of Star of Solidarity, Italy ( 2004)
  • Medal of Sicily as part of Romania's accession to the EU (2007 )
  • Special Price Medal and the European Culture Award (2007)
  • UNESCO Medal, awarded for extraordinary artistic achievement (1992 )
  • UNESCO Artist for Peace (2005)


Mariana Nicol Francesco is a soprano with a powerful and dynamic voice and a strong stage presence. They can be heard in the following works:

  • Vincenzo Bellini: Beatrice di Tenda - Rizzoli Records in 1987, Sony 1995, 2009
  • Gaetano Donizetti: Maria di Rohan - Nuova Era 1988, 1991
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro - EMI 1987
  • Giuseppe Verdi: Simon Boccanegra - Capriccio, 1990, 2005
  • Giacomo Puccini: La Rondine - CBS Record 1983
  • Mariana Nicolesco and the Munich Piano Trio - BMG 1997
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer: Gli Amori di Cantata Teolinda - Pro Arte 1981
  • Maurice Ravel: The Cantatas Alyssa and Alcyone - Rizzoli Records 1987
  • Vatican Christmas - Sony 1994, Natale in Vaticano - RAI 1994
  • Luciano Berio: La Vera Storia, Teatro alla Scala, Milano - Scala 1982 RAI
  • Krzysztof Penderecki: Seven Gates of Jerusalem - 3SAT 1997, Requiem Polonez - 3SAT 1988


  • Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1985, 1988
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, 1992
  • Oxford University Press, 2002, 2008
  • Who's Who in Music, 1993
  • Riemann music encyclopedia, 1992
  • Large Sängerlexikon, 1991
  • Rodolfo Celletti Il Teatro d' Opera, Disco, 1987
  • Rodolfo La Musica Celletti in Dischi, 1990
  • Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 1986
  • Opera '93. Annuario dell'opera lirica in Italia
  • The Clarinet, 1984, Vol 12-13, International Clarinet Society, Jdaho State University.
  • Bielefeld catalog Klassic, Compact Discs, Music aces tablets 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
  • Dorina Rusu - Istoria Academiei novels in date (1866-1996), Story of the Romanian Academy in dates (1866-1996) - Bucharest, 1997
  • Nuova rivista musicale italiana, numeric 3-4, 1986