|Year of Birth:||1930|
|Year of Death:||1966|
Friedrich "Fritz" Karl Otto Wunderlich (26 September 1930 – 17 September 1966) was a German lyric tenor, famed for his singing of the Mozart repertory and various lieder. He died in an accident when he was only 35.
Wunderlich was born in Kusel in the Palatinate, Germany. His mother was a violinist and his father was a choirmaster. For a short time, the family kept the inn "Emrichs Bräustübl" (Emrich's Brewing Cottage). Fritz's father lost his job due to pressure imposed upon him by local Nazis, in addition to suffering from a severe battlefield injury. He committed suicide when Fritz was five years old.
Fritz mastered several instruments while still a schoolboy and when he entered the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in 1950, his principal study was the horn. Then the singing teacher Margarethe von Winterfeldt discovered and trained his voice.
He occasionally sang and recorded minor Wagner roles such as the steersman in The Flying Dutchman, Walther von der Vogelweide in Tannhäuser, and the shepherd in Tristan und Isolde. He sang and recorded the role of the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier.
It was the fashion during Wunderlich's career for German theatres to perform operas in the local rather than original language. Therefore, most of his recordings of the standard operatic repertoire are sung in German, including Verdi's La traviata and Rossini's The Barber of Seville. (He sang his recording of the Verdi Requiem in distinctly Germanic Latin.) Wunderlich achieved the highest distinction within the German repertory. Of special importance is a recording of Mozart's The Magic Flute, conducted by Karl Böhm, in which Wunderlich gave a critically acclaimed performance as Prince Tamino, opposite baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the role of Papageno. There is also a live performance of The Magic Flute recorded in 1960 at the Salzburg Festival, and several recordings as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Recordings also exist of lesser-known Mozart operas such as Zaide and La finta giardiniera