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Maria Biesu
Birth: Aug. 3, 1935
Stefan-Voda, Moldova
Death: May 16, 2012
Chisinau (Kishinev)
Chisinau Municipality, Moldova

Opera Singer. A dramatic soprano, she was her country's premiere classical artist and had a noted career in principal venues on both sides of the Atlantic. Born and raised in the small village of Volintiri, she graduated from high school in 1951 and initially entered agricultural school. While there her amateur performances of Moldavian folk music attracted notice and led to her being sent to the Kishinev State Conservatory in 1955. Maria made her 1961 professional debut as the title heroine of Puccini's "Tosca" at the Chisinau Opera and Ballet Theater which was to be her home company throughout her time before the public. She was to receive advanced training at La Scala Milano from 1965 until 1967 and began to attract notice by capturing a prize at the 1966 Tchaikovsky Third International Competition and by earning a Gold Cup at the 1967 Tokyo competition held in honor of legendary soprano Miuri Tamaki. Maria gradually built a repertoire of 'heavyweight' soprano roles including the title leads of Verdi's "Aida", Puccini's "Turandot", and Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur", as well as the Leonoras of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" and "La Forza del Destino", Tatyana from Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin", Elisabeth in Verdi's "Don Carlos", Liza of Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades", Amalia in Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" and Desdemona from the same composer's "Otello". Her signature pieces, however, were to be the title Druid priestess of Vincenco Bellini's "Norma" and the tragic teenage Geisha Cio-Cio-San from Puccini's "Madame Butterfly"; Maria was heard at Moscow's Bolshoi Opera, made her 1971 debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera as Nedda in Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci", and earned praise in both opera and recital throughout Europe, but always preferred her home stage where she reigned supreme. Her honors were many including 1971 designation as People's Artist of the Soviet Union, the 1982 Lenin Prize, and in 1992 the State Award of the Republic of Moldavia. In her later years a respected teacher and competition judge, she died following a protracted illness, at her death leaving a significant recorded legacy. Her name is sometimes rendered "Bieshu". (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Central Cemetery
Chisinau (Kishinev)
Chisinau Municipality, Moldova
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: May 17, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90299132
Maria Biesu
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Maria Biesu
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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