Wiktor Brégy was born on September 3rd, 1903 in Kyiv – into "a family of Polish descent", as Kutsch & Riemens put it. And somehow, it
must be true, since his Polish leaves no doubt that it was his native language. Yet... his father was French, working in Kyiv (hence
the very un-Polish accent on the e), and Wiktor Brégy kept his French citizenship for all of his life. And his mother was Greek.
Plus he was born in Ukraine, i. e. in the Russian Empire. That he was and felt obviously Polish nonetheless shows clearly that all
attempts to categorize people in "national" or "cultural" terms are inevitably doomed to fail.
Only after World War I, Brégy moved with his parents to Warsaw, where he was
studying law and voice simultaneously, his voice teachers being Adela Comte-Wilgocka and then Maria Lubkowska. He made his debut in 1927 with the Warsaw
Opera. From 1931 to 1933, he was at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, and then in Switzerland till 1939 (Bern, Zürich, Basel), where he enjoyed considerable
popularity – the Bern Opera even staged Moniuszko's Polish national opera Halka for him in 1934. When WWII broke out, he happened to be in Warsaw,
where he was to stay throughout the war, working as a singing teacher. In 1945, he became a professor at the Warsaw conservatory and also resumed his
singing career, but just for a short while; soon, he ventured into stage direction instead, while continuing his teaching activity. He died on May 19th,
1976 in Warsaw.
Reference 1; reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens
In RA format
| Wiktor Brégy sings
|Cavalleria rusticana: Viva il vino, in Polish
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the pictures and recording.