Any old Nicolai: NY Times admits a howler

Any old Nicolai: NY Times admits a howler


norman lebrecht

February 13, 2017

We pointed out on Saturday that the New York Times had used a picture of the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov when reporting the death of the Swedish tenor Nicola Gedda.

Bass, tenor, what’s the difference?

The Times has now appended this message at the foot of the online article:

Correction: February 11, 2017

A photograph was published in error with an earlier version of this obituary. It showed the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov, not Mr. Gedda.

so who’s who?

Among other notices, the Guardian, always up to the minute, published an obituary of Gedda by the record critic Alan Blyth, who died ten years ago.



  • Alexander Davidson says:

    By the time Alan Blyth died (14 August 2007) Nicolai Gedda was already 82 years old and had not been performing or recording for four years. While the remaining years of his life were doubtless valuable to Gedda himself and those who knew him personally, it is unlikely that they contained much activity that would need to be included in his obituary, which, naturally, focuses on his career as a singer, rather than his personal life.

  • Alexander Davidson says:

    PS. In fact, since Blyth’s death, The Guardian has used no fewer than 19 obituaries that he wrote in anticipation of the subjects’ deaths:

  • V.Lind says:

    I think “Any Old Niclolai” is a bit unfair. It implies that they don’t give a toss. They made a mistake, and they apologised for it. It happens. There have been mistakes, if few apologies, on this site.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      It’s a big mistake, and the apology is grudging: ‘was published in error’, rather than ‘we made a mistake’. On this site, our policy is to admit mistakes, correct them and apologise.