Jan Kiepura conquers Milan with his thrilling voice.
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Jan Kiepura conquers Milan with his thrilling voice.

Words of admiration were spreading fast. The name of Polish tenor Jan Kiepura was on everybody’s tongues. A talented man who took the first steps of his career in Sosnowiec and in a matter of a few years conquered Poznan, Lviv and Vienna.

But it was at the La Scala of Milan, which is believed to be one of the most magnificent opera houses in the world, where Kiepura found true fulfilment, and where he was to return to many times. In 1929 he left the audience speechless at his brilliant début in Tosca. His participation in the world première of Le preziose ridicole by Felice Lattuada, under the leadership of Artur Toscanini, was another successful performance. He returned to La Scala again two years later and gave an exceptional interpretation of a very demanding passage of des Grieux bachelor in Manon by Massenet, directed by the famous Victor de Sabata, which was admired by the audience and appreciated by critics. He quickly became an icon – adored by all the ladies. A Pole! A Pole on the tongues of the cultural elites! That day was engraved upon the memory of Milan’s society.

The road to the top, however, is often a difficult one. Our king of tenors suffered from a chronic throat condition and many predicted the end of his career. Against all odds, thanks to Kiepura’s amazing talent and perseverance, he became the idol of the opera.

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