Octavian  Naghiu

Death of Octavian Naghiu

February 14, 2015
Bucharest, Romainia

Romanian tenor dead at 81; sang at Met


The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's national opera says tenor Octavian Naghiu, who was arrested by the country's Communist rulers before emigrating and singing at New York's Metropolitan Opera, has died. He was 81.

Naghiu died Saturday from a heart attack, the opera said in a statement on its web site.

Born in the Transylvanian village of Rucar in 1933, Naghiu began singing in a church choir.

He left Romania in 1967 and made his debut at the Met in Puccini's Tosca shortly afterwards. He also performed in Zurich, Paris and throughout Germany.

Naghiu returned to Romania following the fall of the communist regime, working with UNESCO and teaching singing. In 2014 then-President Traian Basescu gave Naghiu an award for contributions to Romanian culture.

He was buried in Bucharest Tuesday in the Catholic Bellu cemetery.