Heinz Fricke (1927-2015), who died on 7 December, was a remarkable musician who lived a remarkable life that brought him, after years behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin, to the capital city of the capitalist superpower.
I was incredibly fortunate to get to know him during his early years at Washington National Opera. In fact Mr. Fricke became the first conductor I met and observed close up. Here’s one of my earliest pieces for the Washington Post, a profile of Heinz Fricke from 1997:
THE BRIGHT LIGHT IN DOMINGO’S SHADOW
Well into its first season with the world-renowned tenor as artistic director, the Washington Opera has been abuzz with talk of its ambitious vision for the future. That includes next season’s expansion to eight productions and the selection of a world-famous architectural firm to convert the historic downtown Woodward & Lothrop building into the opera’s new Valhalla.