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Roxana Briban

Roxana Briban (AP Photo)
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian opera singer Roxana Briban who sang in Bucharest, Berlin and Bangkok during a 10-year-career, has died in an apparent suicide, her husband said. She was 39.

Alexandru Briban said he found Roxana Briban's dead body in the bathtub late Saturday, with her wrists slit.

Bogdan Staicu, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office in Bucharest said "at this moment, there is no suspicion that she was killed by somebody else," but an investigation is ongoing.

Briban said Sunday his wife had sunk into depression after the Bucharest National Opera severed her contract in 2009.

"She wanted to sing, even without being paid," he told Mediafax news agency.

From 2003 until 2010, Briban also performed at the Vienna State Opera but her collaboration ended after Ioan Holender, the Romanian-born director stepped down this year after an 18-year tenure there.

Holender told Romanian daily Adevarul on Monday that Briban had unspecified problems with her voice and was depressed.

Bucharest-born Briban began to sing aged 6. She debuted in 2000 at the Bucharest National Opera, in her first role as Contessa in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro." In 2003, she performed in Bizet's "Carmen" as Michaela in Vienna, which launched her international career. She also performed in Berlin, Toulouse, Amsterdam, Seoul, Bangkok and Santiago, Chile.

Days before her death, Briban posted an image of a bloodied hand from "Madame Butterfly" on the social networking site Facebook, which was an omen of her death, her husband said. On the morning of the day when she was found dead, Briban had also posted on Facebook a film of Giuseppi Verdi's "La Traviata" where she plays the role of Violetta, who dies of tuberculosis.

Briban said she scribbled a short note which she left on her computer keyboard saying "Forgive me. Yours, Roxana."

Briban claimed the National Opera had told her she had to stop her performances in Vienna if she wanted to continue singing in Bucharest, something she refused to do.

Opera director Catalin Ionescu Arbore denied the allegations, saying her husband's comments were made "in the state of shock that we all are in."

She will be buried on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press
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