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The German bass Gottlob Frick (1908-1994) was born in Ölbrön and died in Mühlacker, near Pforzheim. He was the youngest of thirteen children in the home of a Swabian forester. He joined the chorus of the Stuttgart Opera as a chorister in 1927 to pay for his singing studies at the conservatorium under Neudörfer-Optiz. He made his début as a soloist as Daland at Coburg in 1934, later singing in Freiburg im Breisgau and Königsberg. In 1938 he first appeared in Dresden, becoming a member of the company between 1942 and 1950. There his roles included Rocco, Nicolai’s Falstaff, Prince Gremin and various Wagnerian parts. He appeared at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival, the same year in which he first sang at Covent Garden in London where he appeared regularly between 1957 and 1967 and finally 1971. He sang with the Berlin Städtische Oper between 1950 and 1953, the latter the year in which he made his Viennese and Munich débuts. He first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in December 1961 as Fafner, later singing Hunding and Hagen. His début at the Salzburg Festival was as Sarastro in 1955. Although he officially retired in 1970, Frick could still be found singing in Vienna, Munich and Stuttgart a number of years later. Blessed with a large, rich and dark bass voice, which he used with an impressive intelligence, he excelled in all the Wagnerian bass rôles but was a splendid buffo in parts like Osmin and the operas of Lortzing.

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