Opera singer Eric Kurmangaliev: biography, creativity, personal life and interesting facts

Man-extravaganza, man-carnival. He was lightning, shone, flew, thundered. He changed lives, changed himself. Sang contrary. Friends called him the Kazakh Mowgli. He grew up in the steppe and drove a camel more confidently than a car. The elements — water, wind, fire — he adored. He himself was the element, unbridled, out of control, outrageous Eric Kurmangaliyev. The biography of this person will be told to the reader in the article.


Kurmangaliev Erik Salimovich was born in the city of Kulsary on April 2.0,1959 in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. His mother was a pediatrician, and his father was a surgeon. The boy has been interested in music since childhood. Most of all he loved the songs of Lyudmila Zykina, imitated her timbre with a children's viola. At the age of twelve, Erik caught fire with classical music. He recorded concerts on a tape recorder and learned the parts.Father, like any Eastern man, did not approve of this hobby. A son who wanted to be an actor was a shame for the family. But the father died early, and the mother always supported the son. For the first time, Eric went to the school stage, playing Cinderella's stepmother. And after school I went to study at the conservatory in Almaty.

Eric Kurmangaliev

Years of study

There are no voices like Kurmangaliev in principle. According to the textbook of anatomy, the male voice is obliged to break in young men aged 12 to 15 years. And he did not break up, the thickening of the ligaments, thanks to which the voice becomes rough, did not happen. Contrary to nature, contrary to all existing laws.

Eric throws his studies and goes to Moscow. At the entrance exams to the Moscow Conservatory, he was called a phenomenon, but refused to accept. They did not know how to teach him, and even how to qualify such a voice.

Then Eric goes to the Gnesins Institute. A year later, he was still expelled. After passing the army, he recovers and continues training. In 1985, he graduated from the Gnesins Institute and entered graduate school in the class of Nina Dorliak, the best vocal teacher and wife of the country's main pianist Svyatoslav Richter. He bowed before Richter, and Dorliac idolized.Then the distribution to the philharmonic. Concerts, tours, annual December evenings, where Richter invited the best artists of the world. 1987, his first international competition in the Netherlands. Dorliak did everything to go and win. Eric went first. The hall applauded him standing, but he did not receive the first prize. One of the judges considered that a man could not sing like that, and wanted evidence that he was not a woman. No one took the first place then. He took the second. But he was still the first, because there was no one in front of him. And at the festival in Boston a year later, luck smiled at him, and he was recognized as a phenomenon.

Eric Kurmangaliev cause of death

First step on stage

In 1980, Eric made his debut at the Leningrad Philharmonic at Stabat Mater, performing the alto part. In the same year, fate brings him to A. Schnittke. Eric admired this educated and intelligent man who, with his natural gentleness, had a very strong spirit. The composer, in turn, was struck by the voice of Eric and invited him to play the part of the countertenor in the Second (1982) and Fourth (1984) symphony. In 1983, the Doctor Faust cantata was written specifically for Eric and Alla Pugacheva, but had to be performed on stage with Raisa Kotova.The Ministry of Culture did not allow the pop star to the stage of the conservatory.

Eric Kurmangaliev biography wife

Eric Kurmangaliev: "Madame Butterfly"

In the 90s, after the collapse of the USSR, Eric tried unsuccessfully to adapt, swim. There was no money, no touring. The lifeline turned out to be the call of Roman Viktyuk, who proposed a role in Madame Butterfly. Eric was supposed to sing, dance and play a woman, a Chinese transvestite scout. Later in an interview, Eric will say that this role is the embodiment of his inner self. What is normal for a person, free from stereotypes, of “he” and “she” is unnatural and sanctimonious. It was simply impossible to find anyone else for this role. The whole of Moscow was breaking into a performance. Eric was plastic and moved on stage as if he had a choreographic background. It was a wild success, and he bathed in it. He again had money and tours, he was named the best actor of the year. And for a unique fusion of talent of a singer, dancer, actor, he entered the book of records.

At some point, he felt that the chamber scene was not enough for him, what was needed more — the theater, the opportunity to live on the stage. Probably at that moment he could turn on the road of fate and become a professionalan actor. But Eric understood that the drama theater for him was just another, albeit a fantastically successful experience. He wanted to sing. And he dreamed only of the opera scene. As a result, the singer broke the ligaments and was forced to leave for Hungary, where he underwent treatment for a year and restored his voice. Madame Butterfly has been on stage for a year and a half. The countertenor was taken to the place of the departed Eric, but for half a year the name of Kurmangaliyev was never removed from the posters. The new soloist sang into the microphone, which annoyed Eric a lot. The singer warned reporters that he was not at all interested in talking about Madame Butterfly.

Eric Kurmangaliev biography


Kurmangaliyev sang the part of Orpheus in the opera Orpheus and Eurydice in 1993, and in 1996 he sang the part of Prince Orlovsky in Bat, the operetta of I. Strauss. In 2002, a concert was held in Moscow. Eric was proud of his success and, without false modesty, stated that it was one of the most ambitious and enchanting performances on the stage of the Great Hall of the Conservatory. I enjoyed touring in different countries and everywhere felt at home.

In 2005, he became a participant in the play “Abduction of Farinelli” in Riga. Based on it, the documentary Farinelli was shot. Show must go on.Also in 2005, he took part in the “Vocal Parallels” film project of Rustam Khamdamov. Monologues for this film wrote Renata Litvinova. Erik Kurmangaliev plays the role of an oriental beauty with a high voice and graceful gait. The singer had no particular enthusiasm about the filming of this film. The shooting took about eight years due to interruptions in funding. Yet he wanted to sing more than to act in films.

Eric Kurmangaliev wife

Eric Kurmangaliev: personal life

Eric himself said that his personal life was a tour. His younger brother died, leaving two children. They live in Kazakhstan. Did Erik Kurmangaliyev have a family? Biography, wife, children - it's all about his fans. He was married, but did not hide his homosexuality. The man-woman simply adored the confusing Eric Kurmangaliyev. The wife did not tolerate this for a long time. There is not even any specific information about it. But Eric himself was actively glowing at Moscow gay parties.

Eric Kurmangaliev private life


Everything rolled downhill after the death of his mentor Nina Dorliak (1998). When Eric did not come to the funeral, many perceived it as ingratitude and selfishness. In fact, from that moment on, he was just left alone.He was an absolutely lonely person. He was very hard at losing. There were few big concerts. He did not know how to get on with the impresario, and sooner or later everything ended in a quarrel. He did not know how to produce himself, there were small halls left. His last project was the concert production of "Tancred" in the Great Hall of the Conservatory. Everything promised success. Eric did a lot, paid for singers and musical scores. But, unfortunately, the project was unprofitable. Eric is out of debt and credit. At that moment in his life, he fell into a deep depression. Drank a lot. It seemed that he was destroying himself consciously. Then Eric came to Uglich, where he asked his father, Nicholas, his old friend, to confess him. And the priest agreed that Eric would ever be baptized. But father Nikolay could christen the singer only in the intensive care unit on the eve of his death. To start a career again, Eric composed the names of his father and mother and got his new surname, Salim-Meruert. These are the names of his parents. It was an attempt to get out of depression. He bought a house in the wilderness on the Don, loved this place and tried to go there as often as possible. "We must leave Moscow - a monstrous ecology, it is impossible to live here," said the singer. He planned to sell an apartment in the capital and move to Budapest.

Erik Kurmangaliev Madame Butterfly


September 16, 2007 Kurmangaliev contracted pneumonia. As a result of antibiotic treatment, the liver was seriously affected. On November 13, Eric Kurmangaliyev left this world. The cause of death is liver failure. He was 47 years old.

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