Nicolai Ghiaurov

Opera Singer

Nicolai Ghiaurov, 74, a Bulgarian-born opera singer with a sumptuous voice who became one of the great basses of the post-World War II era, died June 2 in central Italy of a heart attack. Mr. Ghiaurov specialized in late 19th-century works and often performed with his wife, the star Italian soprano Mirella Freni.

"With the passing of Nicolai Ghiaurov, the world of music has lost a giant," Placido Domingo said in statement.

After studying singing in Bulgaria and Moscow, Mr. Ghiaurov made his debut at the Sofia National Opera in 1955 as Don Basilio in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville." He performed at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, Milan's La Scala and London's Covent Garden. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York in 1965. He last appeared at the Met on Oct. 26, 1996, as Sparafucile in Verdi's "Rigoletto."

His finest roles included Mephistopheles in Gounod's "Faust"; Philip II in Verdi's "Don Carlo"; the title character in Mozart's "Don Giovanni"; and the title role in Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov." In January, he sang in Venice as Rossini's Don Basilio -- the same role in which he made his debut almost 50 years earlier.

Charles Kelman

Eye Surgeon

Dr. Charles Kelman, 74, who developed the outpatient cataract operation that has helped 100 million people nationwide improve their vision, died June 1 of lung cancer at a hospice in Boca Raton, Fla. He received the National Medal of Technology from President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and was inducted last month into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.

The idea for the outpatient cataract surgery came to Dr. Kelman at the dentist's office, while having his teeth cleaned with an ultrasonic device. He devised a way to use a similar vibrating, ultrasonic tip to break up the cataract that affects vision and suction it out with a small needle. He introduced the procedure in 1967. The development revolutionized cataract surgery, which previously involved a painful operation and a 10-day hospital stay.

Dr. Kelman was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and attended medical school at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He was a consulting surgeon to hospitals around the world and a clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York Medical College.

Viola Cady Krahn

Swimmer and Diver

Viola Cady Krahn, 102, a holder of 17 masters world diving titles whose lifelong swimming and diving career earned her induction into a swimming hall of fame, died June 1 at a convalescent home in Orange, Calif. Ms. Krahn, who competed in meets at age 101, died after suffering a stroke in March.

In January, she was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after an 85-year career in swimming and diving. At 100, she dived into a pool on the set of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Ms. Krahn began swimming and diving in 1919 after her family moved from Arizona to Los Angeles. She won junior national diving championships for three straight years, starting in 1922. She said she lived such a long life because she was an only child, never had children and ate ice cream every day.