Gheorghiu was born in 1965 in Adjud, Romania. Along with her sister Elena Dan, she sang opera music from an early age. At age 14, Gheorghiu began to study singing at the National University of Music Bucharest, primarily under Mia Barbu. Her graduation in 1990 coincided with the overthrow and execution of Nicolae Ceaușescu the previous year, enabling her to seek an international career immediately. Her professional opera debut took place at the Cluj-Napoca Romanian National Opera as Mimì in La bohème in 1990, the same year she won the Belvedere International Competition.
Gheorghiu made her international debut in 1992 at the Royal Opera House as Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She debuted at the Vienna State Opera as Adina in L’elisir d’amore and at the Metropolitan Opera as Mimì in La bohème. In 1994, she was auditioned by the conductor Sir Georg Solti for a new production of La traviata at the Royal Opera House. Her debut as Violetta led her to international stardom.
Gheorghiu has concentrated her repertoire on several different roles: Violetta, Mimì, Magda, Adina, and Juliette. In 2003, she debuted as Nedda in Pagliacci and as Marguerite in Faust. A soprano with a large range and a dark coloured voice, Gheorghiu is also able to sing spinto roles. She has recorded Tosca (also made into a film directed by the French Benoît Jacquot) and Leonora in Il trovatore for EMI and sang in her first Tosca at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2006. Her performance was an overall success, although because the famous Zeffirelli production of 1964 was replaced by a new production (which premiered with her), there was comparison between the Toscas of Gheorghiu and Maria Callas, for whom the Zeffirelli production was designed.
Angela Gheorghiu took part in many concerts, singing alone or together with her colleagues. Among the most important ones, the reopening of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (1999) and Teatro Malibran in Venice (2001) and at the opening the new Opera House in Valencia, in the presence of the Queen Sofia of Spain (2005). She sang at the “Prom at the Palace” (2002), the event that marked the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a concert that is available on DVD. She also sung at the Queen Beatrix’s Jubilee Gala in Amsterdam (2005), at the New Year’s Eve Concert at Palais Garnier in Paris (2006), at the “Met Summer Concert” in Prospect Park, New York (2008) or at the Memorial Concert for Luciano Pavarotti in Petra (2008). In 2009 Gheorghiu was invited to honor Grace Bumbry during the 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, in Washington DC. She performed Vissi d’Arte from Puccini’s Tosca in the presence of Barak Obama, the President of the United States.