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    Jan Kiepura died 55 years ago

    In 1942, 40,000 people came to his concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. He was one of the first idols of the mass culture that was just emerging. In the same year, he donated 100 thousand USD for Aid to Poland. The tenor Jan Kiepura died on August 15, 1966.

    “He suffered from incurable, chronic pharyngitis all his life. Every day he was afraid of losing his voice. It was the real drama of Jan Kiepura’s life,” said the artist’s biographer and musicologist Dr. Wacław Panek.

    “He was a real idol, one of the first idols of mass culture. In 1942, Kiepura’s performance in Chicago was attended by over 40,000 people, and another 40,000 filled Madison Square Garden in New York because of him. In the United States, only Elvis Presley could count on such an audience,” added.

    “Kiepura became famous not only for the timbre of his voice but also the intensity of his performances – for which he was also often criticized. His diligence was legendary – he was said to be able to practice one phrase for hours before he achieved a satisfactory sound,” wrote Małgorzata Kosińska on Culture. pl.

    On August 13, 1966, Jan Kiepura sang – only in Polish – at a concert for the Polish diaspora in Port Chester in the United States. Two days later, he died of a heart attack at his residence in Harrison, outside New York.


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