Notable People We've Lost in 2012
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07:47, 22 Dec 2012
Info-Prim Neo's '2012 in Figures and Facts' Series

National Opera Prima Donna Maria Bieshu died on May 16 from a rare form of leukemia, aged 76. She earned international acclaim after winning the title of World's Greatest Cio-Cio San at the Miura Tomaki International Opera Competition in 1967. The New York Times wrote about her: “Maria Bieshu is a charming and talented actress. She has a very beautiful and plastic voice”. An annual international festival hosted by Moldova is named after Maria Bieshu.

Playwright and theater critic Pavel Proca died on June 6 at age 65, from a head injury after falling down the steps of a theater in Chisinau. He had worked at the Balti-based National Theater Vasile Alecsandri since 1972, holding various positions from literary secretary to director.

Poet and author Anatol Ciocanu died on June 19, aged 72. A winner of the National Award of Moldova, Ciocanu served as editor of the Moldova Socialista daily and of the Moldova magazine. Besides authoring numerous volumes of poems and essays, he was also a talented translator of Pushkin's and Lermontov's poems.

Folk music singer Vasile Marin died on September 26. After graduating from the Music School Stefan Neaga, he started his career as a dancer in Opera and Ballet Theater. He then became a renowned folk singer, being a frontman in such popular bands as Mugurel, Ciocirlia, and Fluieras.

Author and playwright Aureliu Busuioc died on October 8, two weeks before his 84 birthday. “Aureliu Busuioc has in our literature the image of an intellectual author, with his elevated choice of words and profound Romanian. He was the author that has introduced the urban world in our prose”, said Arcadie Suceveanu, the president of the Moldovan Writers Union. He is best known for his novels “Singur in fata dragostei” (Standing Alone Before Love), “Unchiul din Paris” (The Uncle from Paris) and “Pactul cu diavolul” (Pact with the Devil). Busuioc also authored numerous film scripts and was a reputed journalist.

Painter, graphic and mask artist Glebus Sainciuc died on October 16, aged 93, after undergoing stomach surgery. Glebus Sainciuc was best known for his vibrant papier-mache masks of famous Moldovan figures, including folk singer Nicolae Sulac, pop singer Anastasia Lazariuc, poets Grigore Vieru and Dumitru Matcovschi, comedian and author Gheorghe Urschi, composer and conductor Gheorghe Mustea and many others.

Linguist and author Valentin Mandacanu died on October 29, at age 82. An active supporter of the national revival movement and a defender of the nation's values, his essay “The garment of being” led to a mass movement for the reintroduction of the Romanian language and Latin script in Moldova. Valentin Mandacanu was a member of the first Parliament and voted for Moldova's independence. He was also a prolific translator.

Composer Mihai Toderascu died on November 7, aged 61. He composed songs for popular singers, including Nina Crulicovschi, Victoria Lungu, Ion Suruceanu and Anastasia Lazariuc.

Moldova-born, Romanian film actor Iurie Darie died on November 9, aged 83. Throughout his career, he played memorable roles in over 40 movies. He starred alongside Moldovan actors in the film for children Moara (1992) and in the play Tata, staged at the National Theater Mihai Eminescu in the 1999/2000 season.

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