Singer and actor Jan Kiepura - under the heading "Desuete Names"
His fans idolized Jan Kiepura; his charming smile was on the covers of magazines and movie posters. Kiepura and his gorgeous wife worked alongside each other all the time. What else do one need to be happy? Moreover, he she was brimming with happiness, like a regular Hollywood hero, illuminating up everyone around him...
Jan Kiepura was a Polish tenor singer. Since 1924, he performed at the opera stage in Lviv. Since 1926, he was performing at the Vienna Opera (he debuted as Cavaradossi in the opera “Tosca”). His appearance in the role of Prince Calaf (in the opera “Turandot”) was a success. In 1927, he sang in Covent Garden. He debuted in 1928 at the Scala (as Calaf). From 1938-1942 he sang at the Metropolitan Opera (debuting as Rudolph In the opera “La Bohème”). From 1944, he lived in the USA. Toured to Poland (1958). Kiepura performed at the Broadway theatre scene in operettas with his wife, the singer and film star M. Eggert*.
Cinematograph brought the greatest fame to Jan Kiepura. Since 1930, the singer, with his great acting charisma, was regularly appearing in films (19 films in total). His first film was "The Singing City" (1930, directed by C. Gallone.) This one was followed by "Under a different name" (1932, directed by A. Litvak, with Magda Schneider), "For you I sing" (1934, directed by C. Gallone). In 1935, he appeared in the musical “I Love All Women” (music by Robert Stolz, directed by Carl Lamac) and in 1937, he appeared in the famous film “Bohemian Charms” with the music by Puccini, directed by Géza von Bolváry.
Meanwhile, times became tough in Europe, and Kiepura and his wife left for America. The singer signed a five-season contract with the Metropolitan Opera. In 1938, he debuted at America's leading opera house. He sang five roles at the Metropolitan in eighteen performances (along with Rudolph, Cavaradossi, De Grieux in “Manon”, the Duke and José).
Alongside his operatic career, he enjoyed a successful career in the light genre as well. In 1946, 20 years later, Kiepura again appeared at the Viennese stage, singing in the operetta “Tsarevich” by Franz Lehár. In 1949, film “The Brilliant Waltz” was released, and in 1952, Kiepura and Eggert appeared together in the screen adaptation of the operetta “The Land of Smiles” by Lehár.
In addition to his theatrical activities, Kiepura was giving very successful concerts over the years, performing a wide range of classical and pop repertoire.
In 1958, Kiepura visited his homeland.
Since 1967, a song festival named after Jan Kiepura is held in Krynica, Poland.
* Martha Eggert (born in 1912). German singer. She was an infant phenomenon. Her vocal abilities became apparent at early age. Already at the age of 11, she sang the role of Olympia in Budapest. Later she sang in operettas. Her performance in "The Violet of Montmartre" by I. Kálmán (Vienna, Hamburg and Berlin) was a sensational success. Since 1927, she appeared in films. In 1992, at the age of 80, she took part in the musical revue in Vienna, where she performed works by Robert Stolz.