Romanian opeeratic baritone Nicolae Herlea was born on 28 August 1927 in Bucharest, where he studied at the Music Conservatory with Aurelius Costescu-Duca. He later studied with Giorgio Favaretto in Rome at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and went on to win singing competitions in Brussels, Geneva and Prague and to make his debut in Pagliacci as Silvio at Bucharest National Opera, where he soon became principal baritone.
From 1958 onwards he began to perform abroad, most regularly at the Bolshoi in Moscow, but also at Covent Garden, La Scala and The Met.
He's known for singing Rossini's Figaro many hundreds of times, and for other Italian roles, making recordings of many Italian operas on Electrecord and Supraphon.
He died on 24 February 2014, aged eighty-six.