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Subject: Goran Simic, Vienna State Opera bass dies aged 55
From: Helmut Fischer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Helmut Fischer <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Nov 2008 19:58:59 -0500

text/plain (61 lines)

It is with the greatest sadness that I have to report that Serbian bass Goran 
Simic, member of the Vienna State Opera died earlier today after short severe 
illness aged only 55. Many visitors of the Vienna State Opera where he has 
sung 1.095 performances in 55 different roles from 1984 until October 2008 will 
remember him well, since in his prime he has had one of the darkest, most 
impressive bass voices I have ever heard, which was outstanding even when 
he sang just small roles.

His finest hour was when portraying Pimen in Boris Godunov in Vienna in 1989 
and 1994 and also in Philadelphia in 1987, but more often he has sung roles 
like Colline, Carlo V in Don Carlo, Basilio, Ferrando in Trovatore, Raimondo in 
Lucia, Timur, Commendatore, Sparafucile, Gremin, Jorg in Stiffelio, Eremit in 
Freischütz, King in Aida, Lodovico in Otello, Zuniga, Wurm in Luisa Miller, 
Talbot in Maria Stuarda, Ribbing in Ballo in maschera. He also can be heard on 
Karajan’s last CD recording as Count Horn in Ballo in maschera. A couple of 
weeks ago he was still due to sing Basilio and on the day of his death he was 
supposed to sing 2nd soldier in Salome, but his last performance was as Surin 
in Pique Dame on 13 October.

1998 he got severely ill and he never quite recovered after that. He was the 
most gentle, sensitive person, very calm and introverted - the image if Slavic 
melancholy - but always most kind, friendly, a great philosopher with a fine 
sense of humour. 

 He leaves a wife and two sons behind. No doubt he will be sorely missed by 
his colleagues, friends and his audience.

There are not many video documents of his art, but I decided to upload a part 
of the act 2 finale of Stiffelio to youtube. It is not a solo number of course, 
but Jorg’s beautiful phrases show the warmth and richness of his voice rather 
well. His colleagues in this video are Keith Ikaia-Purdy, Eliane Coelho, Renato 
Bruson and Benedikt Kobel.

The Vienna State Opera’s obituary can be found at: http://www.wiener-

Helmut Fischer
Helmut Fischer Artists International
Obere Donaustraße 45A/14
A-1020 Wien
+43 699 19250916
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