Laszlo Polgar

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The Independent Online

Laszlo Polgar, who died on 19 September 2010 aged 63, was a Hungarian bass and member of the Zurich Opera. His most famous role was probably that of Bluebeard in Bela Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, for which he won a Grammy Award for best opera recording in 1999 along with soprano Jessye Norman, conductor Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Polgar's versatility and deeply resonant voice allowed him to play many other major roles, including Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio, Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Basilio in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Philip II in Verdi's Don Carlos and Gurnemanz in Wagner's Parsifal.

Polgar (left, in Der Kreidekreis, EPA) was born on 1 January 1947 in Somogyszentpal and studied at the Hungarian Music Academy. He won several singing competitions, such as the Dvorak in 1971, the Schumann in 1974, the Erkel in 1975, the Wolf in 1980, and the Pavarotti in Philadelphia in 1981.