|Year of Birth:||1939|
Ileana Cotrubaș (Romanian pronunciation: (listen); born June 9, 1939) is a Romanian opera soprano whose career spanned from the 1960s to the 1980s. She was much admired for her acting skills and facility for singing opera in many different languages.
Cotrubaș was born in Galați. She grew up in a musical family; her father, Vasile, was a tenor in an amateur choir. Cotrubaș' musical career began at the age of nine when she became a member of a children's radio choir. By the age of eleven, she was one of its leading soloists.
In 1952, she moved to Bucharest to study at the Școala Specială de Muzică school for the musically gifted. Cotrubaș made her stage debut with the Bucharest Opera as Yniold in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande in 1964. She subsequently expanded her repertory to include roles such as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Gilda in Rigoletto, and Blondchen in The Abduction from the Seraglio and began appearing in productions throughout Europe.
In 1965, Cotrubaș won an important competition in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands where she won first prize in opera, lieder, and oratorio. The following year, she won a radio-television competition in Munich. Those awards, together with her great success in the role of Pamina at Brussels, led to appearances in the Vienna State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Berlin State Opera and Salzburg Festival, and to a contract with the Frankfurt Opera.