She made history on world stages with Al Bano and Gloria Gaynor, but Romanians know her for “Ani de Liceu”: Stela Enache has a fascinating story

Back in the day, Stela Enache was one of the country’s most popular singers, and many music lovers still listen to her songs today.

Stela Enache is best known for the song “Ani de Liceu”, the soundtrack to the film Liceenii, starring Ștefan Bănică Jr. and Oana Sârbu.

However, the artist was loved even before this film and had the opportunity to share the stage with the biggest names in international music.

Stela Enache and Florin Bogardo – archive photo

Stela Enache was made for music

Stela Enache, born Steriana Aurelia, married Florin Bogardo, the famous composer, at the age of 21. Before that, she attended the Conservatory.

She came from a family of musicians, being George Enache’s cousin, and this helped her, without fail, to easily follow a path she already knew so well and which suited her.

Sources tell of Bogardo giving up another woman, right on the verge of marriage, to enter into a relationship with Stela Enache.

“He didn’t ask me to marry him conventionally, he sent me a letter three days after he met me. The wedding ring was ready for another woman, his former fiancée, but you can’t play with destiny and God. He came to Mamaia, I was at the festival, I was debuting then in 1971, he was in the composition section, I was in interpretation. We met thanks to maestro George Grigoriu and it was love at first sight on his part.

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The first time, he asked me to accompany him to Ioana Diaconescu’s birthday party and I accepted. I had loved him for a long time. I was in love with him and his music. My colleagues knew. When I came back to college, coming back from vacation, as Mrs. Bogardo, nobody wanted to believe it. Lucky for me I had a roommate who witnessed the event and confirmed it,” Stela Enache said at one point.

Stela Enache, Ștefan Bănică Junior and Oana Sârbu (image from the film Liceenii)

Her relationship with Florin Bogardo helped her to fulfill her destiny

In fact, her relationship with Florin Bogardo, considered the most romantic composer, brought her fame. 76 of the more than 500 songs in her repertoire were composed by her husband himself.

However, as I have just said, she came from a family in which music was vital: “At all family gatherings, and we were a large family, we all played different songs, sometimes on an instrument – my father played the violin, and I, as a little girl, had to do the same. And I didn’t wait to be asked twice. They noticed that I had some talent and, at the age of 6, my parents, who were members of the Union Choir, contacted two musical personalities, Mr Miron Șoarec and Mr Ion Romanu.

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After a small examination, they gave them the “green light” to study music. I started with the piano, at the Music School in Reșița. When did you first take to the stage? Do you remember what song you played? When I was 14, I made my debut with the House of Trade Unions’ light music orchestra with the song “House of The Rising Sun” by The Animals. As well as music, I dabbled in theatre and prepared for admissions from high school. But my parents didn’t approve and I opted for the Conservatory. I was well-prepared, I had graduated from the Music School and the Folk Art School, and the entrance exam to the Conservatory in Cluj was a piece of cake. I got in the first time”, said Stela Enache, about her beginnings in the world of music.

Later, the artist toured abroad several times, and later, with her husband, ended up singing on cruise ships. This was in 1986.

She sang on the same stage with Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Rush, The Platters or Al Bano, but Romanians will always remember her for “Ani de Liceu”, a song that can be heard even now, at the end and beginning of every school year, in all the schools in the country.

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