Cosmin Ifrim

Picture of Cosmin Ifrim

Cosmin Ifrim sings La fille du régiment: Ah! Mes amis
In RA Format
Cosmin Ifrim is not, as everyone in Vienna seems to believe, Turkish - he's Romanian! Which seems like a groaner indeed... we have such an enormous number of Romanian comprimarii at the Staatsoper, some of them (like Ifrim) sometimes also singing parts far beyond their abilities. The Staatsoper's long-term manager, Ioan Holender, was born in Romania, and though he had to leave the country for political reasons in the mid-1950s and came to Austria as a refugee, he still feels responsible somehow for his former country - that's why he started to hire young Romanian singers in preference. Well; what started as an intelligent kind of development aid has become a bit ridiculous since, because Romania is part of the European Union in the meantime and not a developing nation anymore, and simply because Holender overdid it and brought an abundance of really lame singers from there. I always thought Ifrim to be an exception in being a lame singer from somewhere else. Well, I've been mistaken:
Cosmin Ifrim was born in Ineu-Arad, Romania, and studied voice in Cluj-Napoca, where he also had his first contract as Fenton. After singing in the Netherlands for a short time, he came to the Wiener Staatsoper at a young age, where he has been a comprimario until now (2008), with occasional ventures into roles like Pedrillo, Steuermann, the Italian Singer (Rosenkavalier), Fenton again or Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi). He has a pleasant timbre, but no voice, and a shaky technique. He is acceptable in very small parts, but already tasks like Beppe (Pagliacci) mean asking too much of him. (reference for the picture and the biographical data: Staatsoper)
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recording, picture and notes.

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