The Guardian, August 3, 2012
The internationally renowned Romanian concert pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa has died suddenly at the age of 33.
Ursuleasa was found dead in her Vienna apartment by police officers on Thursday at about 11am. The cause of death is thought to have been a cerebral haemorrhage, said Vienna police spokeswoman, Adina Mircioane.
Officers broke into the apartment after her mother became worried and contacted the police. “Her mother regularly spoke with or saw her and she had not been in touch that day,” Mircioane said.
“She became concerned so she went to her apartment and she called her phone and heard it in the apartment. It was then assumed that she was still in the apartment.”
Ursuleasa, who recently cancelled two concerts in Bucharest on health grounds, had been something of a child prodigy. Born in 1978 in Brasov, her father was a jazz musician and her mother a singer. She began to play the piano at the age of five and was giving concerts by the time she was nine.
Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/03/romanian-pianist-mihaela-ursuleasa-dies
The Guardian, July 22, 2012
Expectations had been high for this year’s Bayreuth opera festival. For the first time a Russian would be taking a lead role, with rising opera star Yevgeny Nikitin preparing to make his debut in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.
Instead the Bavarian-based festival is struggling to repair the damage after Nikitin, a former heavy metal singer and drummer, quit the production just days ahead of Wednesday’s premiere amid controversy over a Nazi tattoo.
The scandal was unleashed on 20 July by a TV programme which showed old footage of Nikitin’s colourful heavy metal past. Highlighted playing the drums bare-chested, his many tattoos are visible including one that appears to be a large swastika, covered slightly by another symbol. He told ZDF’s Aspekte Aspekte programme that the tattoos had been “just part of our underground culture”. He has since covered up the offending tattoo with a different image.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/22/russian-singer-quits-bayreuth-festival