Sunday, November 4, 2012

A 40th Birthday Tribute to Mariusz Kwiecien

Mariusz Kwiecien (photo: Mikołaj Mikołajczyk)
Few singers are more popular on this site than Polish barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien. He was also one of the early inspirations for this site along with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Erwin Schrott. He's developed a cult following with opera fans around the world and today we're celebrating his 40th birthday. Like Simon Keenlyside and Thomas Hampson, he seems to get better with every passing year. As regular readers of this site know, we've dubbed him "The Hot Pole."

Mariusz Kwiecien (photo: Mikołaj Mikołajczyk) & in King Roger
Kwiecien has a long history with New York, beginning with his participation in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and then becoming one of the biggest box office draws at the Metropolitan Opera. During the 2011/12  Met season, he amazed everyone with his resilience when he returned to take on the demanding title role of  Don Giovanni after injuring his back in rehearsals. The performance was also broadcast live in HD worldwide. He sang Belcore in Donizetti's L’Elisir d’Amore to open the Met’s current season, which was also broadcast worldwide. 

Mariusz Kwiecien sings Onegin's aria:

Kwiecien is probably best known for his sensuous and sexually charged portrayal of Don Giovanni. In this golden age of baritones, he's considered one of the two or three best exponents of the role. He's also made his mark in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, as Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Riccardo in Bellini's I puritani, Belcore in Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore, Marcello in Puccini's La bohème and the title role in Szymanowski's King Roger.

Watch Kwiecien in the complete opera King Roger:

Kwiecien can next be seen later this month in King Roger at Ópera de Bilbao.

Many of his performances have been preserved on DVD including his stunning Eugene Onegin from the Bolshoi Opera and Met broadcasts of Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore and Lucia di Lammermoor. His new recording of “Slavic Heroes” is arguably one of the best recordings of Eastern European arias on CD.

To enjoy hot singers all year, make sure to purchase our 2013 Barihunks Charity Calendar. Singers like Mariusz Kwiecien honed their skills in young artist programs and all proceeds from the calendar will go to similar programs. Click on the blue button to buy NOW.
Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.


  1. I'm in love with him.
    I saw him as Malatesta and he was wonderful...
    for Norina, it'd be a great challenge, choosing between such Malatesta and whoever Ernesto!

    1. His Don Giovanni at the Met was electric! Sensuous singing, and a riveting stage personality. Happy Birthday, Mariusz Kwiecien !

    2. He is definitely a 40-year-old STUD! xoxo