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Kazimierz Pustelak (Tenor)

Born: February 14, 1930 - Nowa-Wies, near Rzeszów, Poland

The Polish tenor, Kazimierz Pustelak, began his vocal studies with Professor Maria Świerzawska in Rzeszów, continuing them in Kraków with Professor Czesław Zaremba. He was a student of agriculture at Jagiellonian University at the same time. Józef Gaczyński was another of his vocal teachers.

Kazimierz Pustelak made his opera debut in 1957 in Krakow as Lensky in Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, one of his best roles. In Kraków, he collaborated with the opera house and the radio. The parts he sang included Lensky in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Pinkerton in Puccini's Madame Butterfly, the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème, and the title role in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. He has numerous recordings of opera, oratorio, and operetta repertoire to his credit. He was very active as a concert singer at philharmonics all over the country. The crowning events of this period were two prizes from international vocal competitions: a Silver Medal in Moscow (1957) and a Gold Medal in Toulouse (1960). In 1960 he received a scholarship to attend a course for opera singers at Milan's La Scala, where he prepared six opera parts and took part in performances of excerpts from Rossini's operas at the Small Scala. In Milan he studied with Gennaro Barro.

Upon returning to Poland in 1960, Kazimierz Pustelak joined the National Opera of Warsaw, moving to the Teatr Wielki with the company and becoming one of the main interpreters of tenor parts across the range of the theatre's opera repertoire. He has performed in practically all the countries of Europe as well as in America and Asia. He appeared as a guest at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, at the National Opera of Prague, Budapest and Bucharest, in Lodz, Tiflis (Tbilisi), at the Royal Opera of Stockholm and at the Festival of Wiesbaden. His beautifully formed, rendered voice and his expressive ability made him most suited to the lyric repertoire, especially in operas by Donizetti, Rossini, Mozart, Moniuszko, Verdi, but also modern works by Igor Stravinsky, Rudzinski, as well as various concert programmes. One of the greatest Polish post-war opera singers, Kazimierz Pustelak is has sung countless tenor parts in operas and oratorio/cantata repertoire, featured on many radio recordings and albums.

Without interrupting his vocal career, in 1971 he also started teaching at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw. He made himself a name as eminent teacher of vocal art. He was the dean of its vocal department from 1972 to 1982. Later at the Academy of Music in Warsaw, he was an associate professor. He has trained a dozen or so very good singers who have already won leading positions at opera houses in Poland and other countries. They also include prize-winners of international vocal competitions. For his artistic and teaching achievements, Kazimierz Pustelak has received a Knight's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order (1964) and the Award of the Ministry of Culture and Art - second degree (1977) and first degree (1992). He celebrated the 40th anniversary of his artistic career on June 11, 1995 at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, singing the part of Stefan in Moniuszko's The Haunted Manor.

Recordings: Muza (complete opera Halka and The Haunted Manor by Moniuszko, König Roger by Karol Szymanowski, works by Rudzinski), Capriccio (Boris Godunov).

Source: Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa Website (Pjotos 01 by Wanda Bietkowska); Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (April 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Andrzej Markowski


BWV 211

Links to other Sites

Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa: Kazimierz Pustelak


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