Jan Kusiewicz

Jan Kusiewicz singsIl Trovatore: Di quella pira, in Polish (2)
In RA Format

Jan Kusiewicz singsDer Zigeunerbaron: Als flotter Geist, in Polish
In RA Format

Jan Kusiewicz singsAida: Morir! si pura e bella, in Polish
In RA Format

Jan Kusiewicz singsLa fanciulla del West: Ch'ella mi creda
In RA Format

Jan Kusiewicz singsIl Trovatore: Di quella pira, in Polish (1)

Jan Kusiewicz is one of the best Polish singers of the second half of the 20th century. His artistic achievements were known on the biggest Polish opera scenes, and overseas. He was a true ambassador of Polish culture, as he propagated the works of Polish composers around the world.

He is from Torun, and sang since he was very young.

The story of his life is very unusual, especially during the Second World War. He was arrested in Torun by the Gestapo, taken to the Bydgoszcz prison, and then taken to the Stutthoff Concentration camp. The years spent in the concentration camp remained the nightmare of his life. He escaped with his life in miraculous circumstances - the day before the liberation of the camp, the prisoners were marched to the outside wall, made to stand against the wall, and were shot by machine guns. Only a few survived, Kusiewicz was one of them, as he fell to the floor as soon as the first machine gun sounded. He was lucky, as the SS did not check if all the prisoners had died.

After the war, he studied with the famous Professor Stefan Belina-Skupiewski, a famous Polish tenor who sang at La Scala and other European opera houses. Kusiewicz learned Italian belcanto from his teacher, and became the first tenor of the Baltic Opera in Gdansk. For more than 25 years he sang Italian, French, Russian and Polish operas. He was always "in good voice" - he could sing Radames several times in one week, and his voice carried well and was fresh. He had an excellent high C, that he could sing at anytime, anywhere.

His most famous roles were Cavaradossi, Don Carlo, Almaviva, Hoffman, Lenski, Janek (Opera "Prodaná nevesta"), Faust, Turiddu, Astrologer (Opera "Krakatuk" by T. Szeligowski), Don Ottavio, Calaf, and Manrico. He also sang many oratorio pieces, and sang masses and cantatas by Bach, IX th Symphonie by Beethoven, and the "Requiem" by Mozart and Verdi.

He also starred in a film "Pamietnik pani Hanki" ("Mrs Hanka's Diary") as the legendary Jan Kiepura.

He received many awards, including the Cross of the Knight, and the Cross of the Officer's Order in Poland.

He is the father of Polish tenor Piotr Kusiewicz.

Picture of Jan Kusiewicz with his brother
With his brother

Picture of Jan Kusiewicz in King Roger
In King Roger

The following Link has good photos and information in Polish. His son, Piotr, is a singing teacher and has a website.

I wish to thank Prof. Piotr Kusiewicz for the biographical notes.
I wish to thank Imogen Norcroft and Prof. Piotr Kusiewicz for the recordings.

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