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Tuesday, 23-05-2017

Biography

 

 

1930

Fritz Wunderlich was  born on the 26th of September in Kusel as the second child of Paul Edmund and Anna Wunderlich, who were  both musicians. After his father’s death in 1953, Fritz at a young age, had to help his mother to support the family  by playing the accordeon and French horn at dance events.

 

1947/48

First performances with the theatre group „Kulturring“ in Kusel, including performances in the Christmas story, various operettas, concerts and in Humperdink’s fairy tale „Hänsel and Gretel“.

 

1950-55

Studies at the academy of music in Freiburg: Vocals with Margarete von Winterfeldt,  lessons with Lothar Leonhards on the horn, and piano lessons with Friederike Finke. He finances his studies by playing dance music.

 

1952/53

His first public engagements are: „Christmas oratorio“ („Weihnachtsoratorium“)  by Bach in Esslingen, recitals, and concerts in the Palatinate.

 

1953/54

First radio recordings:  operetta songs at the radio station SWF Kaiserslautern under the direction of Emmerich Smola.

 

1954

Debut  as Tamino in „The Magic Flute“ („Die Zauberflöte“) at a performance at the University of Freiburg.

 

1955

First engagement as a lyric tenor at the state theatre in Stuttgart by Walter Erich Schäfer. During a summer music event in Hitzacker he makes his debut  in Monteverdi’s „Orfeo“ under the direction of  August Wenzinger; following this, these performances were recorded by the „Archiv Produktion der Deutschen Grammophon Gesellschaft“.

On September 30th he makes  the first  stage debut as Eisslinger in Wagner’s „The Master-Singers of Nurembeg“ („Meistersinger“).

 

1956

Substitute for Josef Traxel as Tamino in „The Magic Flute“ („Die Zauberflöte“).

Premiere of Orff’s „Antigone“ (director: Wieland Wagner, conductor: Ferdinand Leitner). During the rehearsals for „Antigone“ he meets Eva Jungnitsch, the harpist, whom he marries a few months later.

Exclusive contract with „The Europäische Phono Club Stuttgart“: opera recordings and various other songs including Bach’s cantatas under the pseudonym Werner D. Braun.

 

1957

Birth of the first child Konstanze.

Performances of Händel’s „Jephta“ (director:Günther Rennert). 

Stuttgart guest performance at the 20th Biennale in Venice with Egk’s opera “The Inspector General“ („Der Revisor“). Debut as  Fernando in “Cosi fan tutte“ and Belmonte in „The Abduction from the Seraglio“ („Die Entführung aus dem Serail“) at the Bavarian State Opera  in Munich.

 

1958

Participation in his first international summer concerts: debuts in Aix-en-Provence „The Magic Flute“(„ Die Zauberflöte“), in Edinburgh „The Abduction from the Seraglio“ („Die Entführung aus dem Serail“), „The Poacher“ ( „Der Wildschütz“) in Stuttgart and a new production of Rossini’s „The Barber of Seville“ („ Barbier“) by Günther Rennert in Stuttgart.

Record contract with EMI Electrola

 

1959

WDR Köln (radio station in Cologne): Händel’s „Alcina“ with Joan Sutherland, birth of his second child (Wolfgang), international breakthrough: debut at the Salzburg  Festival as Henry in „The Silent Woman“ ( „Die schweigsame Frau“)  by Richard Strauss (director: Günther Rennert, conductor: Karl Böhm, name part: Hilde Güden). 

Debut at the Vienna State Opera House in „The Magic Flute“ („Zauberflöte“) conducted by Karl Böhm.

Germain premiere of Janácek’s „Broucek“ in Munich, debut performance of Orff’s „Oedipus the Tyrant“ („Oedipus der Tyrann“) in Stuttgart, television broadcast of Rossini’s „The Barber of Seville“ („Barbier“) at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich (Prey, Köth, Hotter, Proebstl, Keilberth).

 

1960

Fritz Wunderlich moves from Stuttgart to Munich. Mozart Requiem conducted by Karajan in Berlin, „Don Giovanni“ in Cologne (Prey, Grümmer, Sawallisch). Vienna  Festival: Beethoven’s „The Choral“ („Neunte “) conducted by Otto Klemperer, Mahler’s „The Song of the Earth“ ( „Lied von der Erde“) conducted by Karajan and Mahler’s „Synphony No.8“ ((„Achte“) by Keilberth, Salzburg Festival: „The Magic Flute“ („Die Zauberflöte“) conducted by Keilberth, Stuttgart: „Requiem“ (Verdi) conducted by Hans Müller-Kray, debut in the role as Alfred in „The Bat“ („Die Fledermaus“).

 

1961

Munich: new production of Donizetti’s „Don Pasquale“ with Kurt Böhme, Günter Rennert stages Rossini’s „The Turk in Italy“  („Der Türke in Italien“) , Hamburg „St. Mathew Passion“ („Matthäus-Passion“) under the direction of Keilberth, London: Mahler’s „The Song oft he Earth“  („Lied von der Erde“)  with Christa Ludwig directed by Klemperer, Salzburg: „The Abduction from the Serail“ („Entführung aus dem Serail“), Munich Festival: „Don Giovanni“ with George London, debut in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colón: „The Silent Woman“  („Die schweigsame Frau“)  with Ingeborg Hallstein and „The Abduction from the Seraglio“ („Die Entführung aus dem Serail“) with Anneliese Rothenberger, Munich: new production of Tschaikowsky’s „Eugen Onegin“ (Prey, Bremert, Fassbaender, Yahia, Keilberth).

 

1962

First song recital in Vienna: „St.Mathew Passion“ („Matthäus Passion“) directed by Böhm in the Viennese Music Association also called Musikverein, Hamburg: „Don Giovanni“ (London, Grümmer, Schmidt-Isserstedt), Munich: new production of „The Silent Woman“  („Die schweigsame Frau“) with Ingeborg Hallstein, full production of Händel’s „Serse“ („Xerxes“) for the Bavarian Broadcasting and television broadcast of  „Eugen Onegin“.

 

1963

Extensive guest contract with the State Opera House in Vienna, television production Pergolesi’s „The Music Master“  („Der Musikmeister“) at the Music Theatre  in Schönbrunn, Munich: first song recital with Bach’s „St Mathew Passion“ („Matthäus Passion“) directed by  Karl Richter, intensive work on different songs together with Hubert Giesen, Paris: Stuttgart guest performance with Orff’s „Oedipus the Tyrant“  („Oedipus der Tyrann“),  recital at the Theater an der Wien with Heinrich Schmidt, guest at Robert Lemke‘s TV show “Was bin ich?“, new production of “Don Giovanni“ in Vienna (Wächter, Price, Güden, Berry, Sciutti, Panerai, Karajan), cancellation of various obligations due to a sinus surgery, television production of Egk’s “Columbus“ (BR), new production of “La Traviata“ in Stuttgart (name part: Ruth-Margret Pütz), reopening of the Munich National Theatre: performance in the premiere of Egk’s „The Engagement in Santo Domingo“ („Die Verlobung in San Domingo“).

 

1964

Exclusive contract contract with the “Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft“, recording of „Die schöne Müllerin“ for the SDR (radio station), „St. Mathew Passion“ („Matthäus  Passion“) conducted by Richter in Vienna, duet with Lucia Popp in „Capriccio“ („Capriccio Duette“), performance in the „The Knight of the Rose“  („Rosenkavalier“) with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Sena Jurinac, premiere of „The Woman without a Shadow“ („Frau ohne Schatten“)  conducted by Karajan (Rysanek, Thomas, Ludwig, Berry, Hoffmann), premiere of „Daphne“ under Böhm (Güden, King, Schöffler), birth of his third child (Barbara), five concerts with Mahler’s „The Song of the  Earth“ („Lied von der Erde“) (Fischer-Dieskau ,Keilberth), recital tour with Hubert Giesen, full recording of „The Magic Flute“ („Die Zauberflöte“) directed by Böhm in Berlin, Munic: rejection of the new production „The Magic Flute“ „Die Zauberflöte“ directed by Harra Buckwitz, Vienna: debut in the role of „Palestrina“ (director: Hans Hotter, conductor Robert Heger), televion production of „Daphne“ (Woytowicz, King, Frick, Keilberth).

 

1965

Munich: album production „Welterfolge großer Tenöre“ and „Du bist die Welt für mich“ (Polydor), new production of „La Traviata“ with Teresa Stratas and Hermann Prey, London: „Don Giovanni“ (Wächter, Lorengar, Kempe), Salzburg: Giorgio Strehler’s new production of „The Abduction from the Seraglio“ („Die Entführung“) (Rothenberger, Grist, Unger, Corena, Metha), song recital with Hubert Giesen, Haydn’s „The Creation“ („Schöpfung“) conducted by Karajan, performance in the role of „Narraboth“ in the new production of Wieland Wagner’s „Salome“ with Anja Silja (Vienna), Munich: full recording of „The Abduction from the Seraglio“ („Entführung“) ( Köth, Böhme, Jochum) and the „Christmas Oratorio“(„Weihnachtsoratorium“) (Janowitz, Crass, Ludwig, Richter). 

 

1966

Berlin: recordings under Karajan (Beethoven’s „Missa Solemnis“ and parts of Haydn’s  „The Creation“  („Die Schöpfung“), „The Magic Flute“  („Die Zauberflöte“) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, song recital, new production of Rossini’s „The Barber of Seville“ („Barbier“)  directed by Böhm (Vienna), which were recorded afterwards under Robert Stolz, Munich: „The Magic Flute“ („Die Zauberflöte“) at the Cuvilliés Theatre (Rothenberger, Prey, Crass, Dohnányi), Salzburg: revival of „The Abduction from the Seraglio“ („Die Entführung“), Edinburgh Festival:  „The Magic Flute“ („Die Zauberflöte“). 

 

September 4th 1966

Last performance in Usher Hall (Edinburgh)

 

September 17th 1966

Fritz Wunderlich dies as a result of an accident.

 

(© Klassik-Art 2010)