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|Jan Wiktor Kiepura|
singer (tenor) and actor
Born May 16, 1902, in Sosnowiec, Silesia; died Aug. 16, 1966, in Harrison, near New York City. Polish lyric-dramatic tenor.
Kiepura studied with W. Brzeziński and T. Leliwa in Warsaw, where he made his debut as a concert singer in 1923 and in opera in 1925. He was a soloist at the Vienna Opera in 1926–28. In 1929 and 1931 he performed at La Scala in Milan; subsequently he sang in other opera houses of Western Europe and, in 1938, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. At the end of 1939 he took up residence in the USA, where he sang in Broadway theaters and musical comedies and appeared in films. He also toured North and South America. After 1945, Kiepura lived in Vienna for some time, performing in various European countries, including the Polish People’s Republic (in 1958). A master of bel canto, he possessed a strong and clear voice of great range and beautiful timbre. He was famous for his performances in the Italian and French operatic repertoire and also of Polish folk songs. His best roles included Jontek in Moniuszko’s Halka, the title role in Gounod’s Faust, and Cavaradossi and Calaf in Puccini’s Tosca and Turandot.