Obituary: Polish Bass Kazimierz Kowalski Dies at 70

By Francisco Salazar

Polish bass Kazimierz Kowalski has died at the age of 70.

Born in Łódź, Poland, Kowalski studied voice at the Academy of Music with Antoni Majak and went on to compete in the 1976 International Vocal Competition in Toulouse where he took the third prize. Following the competition, he went to the Teatr Wielki (Grand Theatre) in Łódź and made his debut in the role of Kecal in Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride.” He went on to become a soloist with the company and performed numerous leading roles.

He performed operas by such wide-ranging composers as Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, Penderecki, Moniuszko, and Kander.

Then his career transitioned into a more administrative phase. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the Theatr Wielki’s general and artistic director and led such efforts as the live worldwide television broadcast of Moniuszko’s “The Haunted Manor.” He also led the company to become one of the few profitable theatrical institutions in Poland during his time and initiated a festival of opera and operetta. He also founded the Polish Chamber Opera.

Kowalski would return to the company as the general and artistic director from 2005 to 2008 to continue.