Obituary: Polish Bass-Baritone Bernard Ładysz dies at 98

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Adam Rozlach/PR)

Polish bass-baritone and actor Bernard Ładysz has died at the age of 98.

Ładysz was born in the city of Wilno (then Poland) on July 24, 1922 and began to learn to sing as a teenager.

Ładysz began his artistic career in 1946. A year later, he won the First prize at the National Vocal Competition in Warsaw. However, winning the first prize at a singing competition in Vercelli in Italy in 1956 was the decisive milestone in the career of the Polish bass-baritone. According to the rules of this competition, the winner was allowed to make his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. But that was not the path the bass-baritone opted for – instead, he engaged in performances at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.

In 1959, famed Italian conductor Tulio Serafin prepared a recording of “Lucia di Lammermoor” with the most famous singers of that time – Maria Callas, Pier Cappuccili, and Ferruccio Tagliavini. Serafin included Ładysz as a part of the recording, which had a great impact on the singer’s further career.

Starting in 1972, Ładysz began his engagement at the Grand Theatre in Warsaw. There he performed the title role in Mussorgsky’s only completed opera “Boris Godunov,” among others. He also became known for his recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera “Die Teufel von Loudun.”

Here he is in an excerpt from “I Vespri Siciliani.”