|The Hot Pole: Mariusz Kwiecien still sizzling hot at 39|
There probably wouldn't be a Barihunks site if Mariusz Kwiecień wasn't brought into this world on November 4, 1972 in Kraków, Poland. In a story we've told numerous times, the Polish barihunk was one of the major inspirations for this site (which briefly was envisioned as a Kwiecien fan site).
Kwiecien's signature role has become Mozart's Don Giovanni, which he is currently singing at the Met. He has also performed the role at the Vienna State Opera, Bilbao Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Warsaw Opera, Royal Opera House in London, and the Seattle Opera. When he briefly had to withdraw from the Met performance due to a herniated disc in his back, the opera world and his fans almost went into a meltdown. After all, this was his Met debut in the role and it was scheduled to be broadcast into theaters across the globe. Unwilling to disappoint his fans, he miraculously returned to the stage thrilling audiences at the Met and in movie houses.
At the age of 26, he started winning or placing in major vocal competitions in Europe and represented Poland in the 1999 Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has sung everything from Purcell to Szymanoski on the stage to great acclaim. He has been hailed as one the new generation of singers who take their acting and stage presence as seriously as their singing, making him the perfect Barihunk. We also have heard from singers, directors, conductors, fans and staff at various opera houses that he is one of the nicest guys in the business.
Mariusz Kwiecien sings Frédéric Chopin's "Narzeczony" (The Bridegroom's Return):
After his Met run, Kwiecien returns to his native country to perform Don Giovanni at the Opera Narodowa and then Janusz in Moniuszko's "Halka." He returns to the Met in March to perform Belcore in Donizetti's "L’elisir d’amore."
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