Bulgarian opera star GHENA DIMITROVA died in Milan, Italy yesterday (11JUN05). She was 64.

Dimitrova's body will be returned to her homeland where funeral services to mourn her passing will be held next week (begs13JUN05).

BORISLAV VELIKOV, speaker of the Bulgarian parliament, wrote in a letter of condolence to the soprano's family, "Ghena Dimitrova made her mark in the opera world with the beauty and brilliance of her voice."

Dimitrova studied at the Bulgarian State Conservatory in Sofia before making her opera house debut in 1967 as ABIGAIL in (GIUSEPPE) VERDI's NABUCCO - a role which became her trademark.

As her international profile rose, Dimitrova went on to perform at many of the world's leading opera houses in Vienna, London, Paris, Russia, South America and New York - as well as Milan's La Scala where she appeared alongside tenor PLACIDO DOMINGO in 1973.

12/06/2005 14:06