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April 4 , 2003

“Songs to Remember” Honors Tenor Jan Kiepura April 6

Jan Kiepura and Marta Eggerth in a 1944 performance of The Merry Widow at New York City’s Majestic Theater

Local soprano Dianne Smith, tenor Peter Shea, and pianist Nadine Shank will perform “Songs to Remember,” a program of songs from operas, operettas, and films featuring internationally acclaimed Polish tenor Jan Kiepura (1902–1966) and his wife, Marta Eggerth, Sunday, April 6. The program, which celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of Kiepura’s birth, will be held at 3 pm in Pratt Hall’s McCullough Auditorium.

Kiepura appeared in nearly every important opera house in the world, including Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra, La Scala, the Opéra-Comique, the Chicago Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Teatro Colón, and the Metroplitan Opera. He also made twenty-three films between 1932 and 1952. From the mid-1940s, he specialized in operetta, partnering with his wife and forming a company for productions of Lehar’s The Merry Widow, which took Broadway by storm and toured the United States and Europe. Eggerth, who is still singing and teaching at the age of ninety, will attend the MHC performance with her son, concert pianist Marjan Kiepura.

“Songs to Remember” was organized by Carolyn C. Topor ’58, president of the New England chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation, which promotes American understanding of Polish culture and history and supports educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland. A lunch preceding the concert will honor New England recipients of foundation scholarships supporting those pursuing Polish studies, year abroad, and graduate and postgraduate research in Poland and the United States.
Past MHC recipients of a foundation scholarship for summer study in Krakow include Dawn E. Lavallee ’02 and Mary Beth Topor Daniel ’82, now an MHC trustee.

Concert tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and free to all students with college I.D. For more information, call (413) 283-8032 or 532-1546.


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