Richard Fredricks (born August 15, 1933, Los Angeles, California) is an American opera singer, and was one of the leading dramatic baritones of both the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.
New York City Opera
He made his debut with the City Opera on October 1, 1960, as Schaunard in La bohème, with Chester Ludgin and Norman Treigle in the cast. He went on to perform there the leading baritone roles in The Consul (with Patricia Neway), Le nozze di Figaro (as Count Almaviva), The Ballad of Baby Doe (as Horace Tabor), Lizzie Borden (as Captain Jason MacFarlane, in the world premiere of Beeson's opera), Carmen (as Escamillo), Tosca (as Baron Scarpia) (with Plácido Domingo), Cavalleria rusticana (as Alfio), Manon (as Lescaut, with Beverly Sills), conducted by Julius Rudel, Gianni Schicchi (title role), La traviata (as Germont), Lucia di Lammermoor (as Enrico), L'heure espagnole (Mulateer), Roberto Devereux (Nottingham), La Cenerentola (Dandini), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro), Un ballo in maschera (Renato), Maria Stuarda (Talbot), Rigoletto (title role), Don Giovanni (title role), directed by Frank Corsaro, I puritani (Sir Richard Forth), Manon Lescaut (Lescaut), Pagliacci ( Tonio), Lucrezia Borgia (Alfonzo d'Este), Andrea Chénier (Gerard), Falstaff (Ford), and Attila (Ezio).
Richard Fredricks made his first appearance with the Met in 1976, when they toured to Wolf Trap Farm Park, as Don Carlo, in La forza del destino, in John Dexter's production. The following year, the baritone was seen at the House in La traviata, with Rita Shane. His in-house debut was as Athanael in Thaïs (with Sills), followed by Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Barnaba in “La Gioconda,” the Four Villains in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Escamillio in Carmen, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Ostasio in Francesca da Rimini with Renata Scotto.
Fredricks has appeared at most of the major theatres in the Americas, as well as in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Venice, Israel, Brussels, Mexico and numerous performances in Canada. He sang the Count de Luna in ‘Il trovatore” (Montreal), “Rigoletto” in Toronto and Quebec City, Scarpia in “Tosca” in Winnipeg and the North American premier as Demetrius in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” by Britten in Vancouver. In 1971, he played himself on ABC’s primetime comedy, "The Odd Couple" starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In that episode, Fredricks sang selections from La Traviata and Camelot ("If Ever I Would Leave You"). His recordings include six operettas in “The Treasury of Operetta’s” by RCA Victor, as Top in The Tender Land (abridged, with Joy Clements, Richard Cassilly and Treigle, conducted by the composer, Copland, 1965), Lizzie Borden (conducted by Anton Coppola, 1966), and the Duruflé Requiem. He has stage directed La bohème with both the Michigan Opera and the Duluth Opera, as well as singing Lescaut and directing the production of Manon with the Honolulu Opera.
- Beeson: Lizzie Borden (B.Lewis, Faull, Elgar; Coppola, NN, 1965) VAI
- Donizetti: Roberto Devereux (Sills, Marsee, J.Alexander; Rudel, Capobianco, 1975) [live] VAI
- Verdi: La traviata (Sills, H.Price; Rudel, Capobianco, 1976) [live] VAI
- Massenet: Manon (Sills, H.Price, Ramey; Rudel, Capobianco, 1977) [live] Paramount Pictures
- Zandonai: Francesca da Rimini (Scotto, Rom, Domingo, MacNeil; Levine, Faggioni, 1984) [live] Deutsche Grammophon
- He was also on a guest spot on Season 2, Episode 7 of the TV Series, The Odd Couple titled, "Does your mother know you're out?".
- The New York City Opera, by Martin L. Sokol, Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc, 1981. ISBN 0-02-612280-4
- The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia, edited by David Hamilton, Simon and Schuster, 1987. ISBN 0-671-61732-X