Obituary: Azerbaijani Bass Eldar Aliev Dies, Aged 49

By Logan Martell

On August 6, 2020, Azerbaijani bass Eldar Aliev passed away at the age of 49. His body was found in a street near Precotto in Milan, where he had spent the last 15 years living in homelessness. Aliev was a prominent artist at the turn of the century and sang at the Teatro alla Scala among other leading stages.

Born in Azerbaijan in 1971, Aliev studied piano at an early age, going on to study singing at the conservatory in his native city of Baku. He lived in Italy since 1992, when he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Academy of Osimo in the province of Ancona.  He went on to sing Astolfo in “Lucrezia Borgia” at la Scala and Timur in “Turandot” at Teatro Real in Madrid. He also went onto perform at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Israeli Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and Teatro Verdi di Trieste, among others.

After performing in countries such as France, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, and even Siberia, Aliev chose to leave the stage and live in the streets of Milan. He was described by locals as a kind-hearted man, who lived on charity and refused alms of 10 Euros or more. When his condition deteriorated, Aliev was given a trailer by the Villa San Giovanni association.

Little is known of Aliev’s decision to live homelessly. At the time of his death, he was being checked on by local health workers, who returned to discover his body. The Azerbaijani Embassy has made it possible for Aliev’s body to be returned to his homeland for burial. Aliev is survived by a wife, as well as two children.

His voice is preserved on recordings of Donizetti’s “Parisina d’Este” and Rossini’s “Moiseet Pharaon.”