William Fleck American bass
William Fleck has emerged as an important singing actor, having performed more than 110 operatic roles. He joined the Metropolitan Opera roster in 1979, where his roles ranged from Alaska Wolf Joe in Mahagonny, to theSacristan in Tosca. He was also featured on numerous broadcasts and telecasts of “Live from the Met.”
The basso has had particular success with the great roles of the buffo repertoire, such as Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Le Nozze di Figaro, Dr. Dulcamara in L’Lelisir d’Amore,, Don Pasquale, Leporello inDon Giovanni, and Rocco in Fidelio. His interpretation of Baron Ochs inDer Rosenkavalier is considered to be definitive. At home in a wide range of repertoire and styles, Mr. Fleck has enjoyed particular success in such modern works as Menotti’s The Last Savage, which was directed by the composer, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Robert Ward’s The Crucible and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, in which his portrayal of Olin Blitch won him national critical acclaim.
He has appeared worldwide in companies throughout Canada, Mexico, and Australia. In the United States, he has sung with the opera companies of San Francisco, Dallas, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and many others.
A product of the Eastman School of Music, he was closely associated for many years with the famed Chautauqua Opera Company and Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston.
In March and April of 1996, Mr. Fleck re-created his famed Baron Ochs inDer Rosenkavalier with the New York City Opera under the direction of Jonathan Miller. In 1997, he did the role of Sulpice in The Daughter of the Regiment with the New York City Opera National Company. After that, he sang Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer with the Indianapolis Opera. In April 1999, he garnered rave reviews for his performance as Baron Ochs in the Nashville Opera production of Der Rosenkavalier.
The 1999-2000 season also included engagements with the New York City Opera in their productions of Madama Butterfly and Die Zauberflöte. Mr. Fleck then covered the role of Baron Ochs in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Der Rosenkavalier. Immediately following that, he sang the role of Dr. Bartolo in the New York City Opera National Company’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He also created the role of King Carlo in the World Premiere of Louis Gioia’s Un Racconto Fiorentino, presented at Alice Tully Hall.
Recent engagements have included Dr. Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Frank in Die Fledermaus with the Mississippi Opera, Dansker in Billy Budd with the Canadian Opera, Roccoin Fidelio, and Dr. Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore with the Bel Canto Festival in Portland, Oregon, and Pooh-bah in The Mikado with the Virginia Opera, and Benoit in La Boheme with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of George Manahan, and Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Roanoke in October 2003, and in the spring of 2004, Dr Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’amore with the Nevada Opera, where he will be returning for Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola.
Compiled by Mogens H Andersson