(September 26, 1930 – September 17, 1966)
Friedrich "Fritz" Wunderlich was a German lyric tenor.
His father committed suicide when Fritz was five years old due to pressure from local Nazi's.
It was realised very early in the young Wunderlich's life that he was a highly gifted tenor, especially in the roles of Mozart but it was not long before he started to expand his repertoire.
It was the custom in Germany in those days to only present opera's sung in German- and that is why so many of his recordings are in German even including Verdi's Rigoletto and Don Carlos.
Among the recordings he left, of particular note is a performance of Mozart's The Magic Flute with Karl Böhm conducting. Wunderlich gave a critically acclaimed performance as Tamino opposite Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's Papageno.
He only occasionally sang Wagner roles and they were usually minor ones such as the Steuermann in The Flying Dutchman, Walther von der Vogelweide in Tannhäuser, and the Hirt in Tristan und Isolde.
His promising career came to an untimely early end when he fell from a stairway at a friend's country house and died soon after just days short of his 36th birthday leaving the world mourning the loss of a stunningly beautiful voice and what might have been.
He is buried in Munich.
Fritz Wunderlich is one of the featured stars on our "Legends" product range.