He studied at Berlin, an debuted, after winning a contest of Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt, at Wiesbaden in 1952.
1953, he joined the Hamburger Staatsoper. Since 1956, he appeared frequently at Berlin
and Vienna. In 1959 he deubted at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, as well as at the
Salzburger Festspiele (as Barbier in Strauss's "Die Schweigsame Frau", which was also
Fritz Wunderlich's debut at Salzburg), where he often sang Guglielmo and Papageno in subsequent years.
1968 he was the protagonist in the Ponnelle/Abbado production of Rossini's "Barbiere
di Siviglia". Between 1960 and 1970, he performed numerous times at the New York MET,
where he debuted as Wolfram. (In 1987, he again appeared at the MET as Musikmeister
in "Ariadne auf Naxos".) In 1965, he debuted at Bayreuth, again as Wolfram. In 1981,
he returned to Bayreuth as Beckmesser. IN 1973, he debuted at London as Rossini's Barbiere,
and subsequently sang Guglielmo, Papageno, Eisenstein there. Although he had sung Verdi
parts in his early years, he later concentrated on Mozart and Strauss: Olivier
(Hamburg 1957), Harlekin (Munich 1960), Robert Storch (Munich 1960). In 1997, he sang
Sprecher at the Salzburger Festspiele. He frequently appeared in the lighter genres of
"Spieloper" and Operetta as well as on TV shows, which made him extraordinary popular
in Germany. He is also widely known for his Lieder recitals, both on stage and on
recordings. His uncountable recordings range from Lieder to opera and oratorio.
In 1981, he wrote a autobiography "Premierenfieber" (which was later also issued in
English as "First Night Fever"). In 1988, he directed a production of Nozze di Figaro at
* 1929-07-11 Berlin
+ 1998-07-22 Krailling (Bavaria)
To learn more about Fritz Wunderlich's friendship with Hermann Prey see "Amico Fritz", an excerpt from Prey's autobiography.
Recordings with Fritz Wunderlich:
Bach J. S.
Fritz Wunderlich Homepage