Tom Fox (baritone)

Last updated

Tom Fox is an American operatic baritone who has had an active international performance career that has spanned five decades. He has sung leading roles at many of the world's major opera houses, including the Berlin State Opera, La Scala, and the Metropolitan Opera. While he has performed a diverse range of roles in numerous languages during his career, he has become particularly associated with the works of Richard Wagner.


Education and career

Fox was trained at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music where he was a pupil of Italian bass Italo Tajo. [1] He began his stage career performing in the opera chorus and in smaller secondary roles at the Cincinnati Opera from 1972 to 1980. He was a member of that company's Young Artist Program from 1978 to 1980. He progressed to leading roles in Cincinnati; including portrayals of Basilio in The Barber of Seville , Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore , Escamillo in Carmen , Scarpia in Tosca , Sharpless in Madame Butterfly , and Timur in Turandot . Most recently he was seen with the Cincinnati Opera in 2010 as Iago in Verdi's Otello . [2]

Fox's first performance of note came in 1975 at the Houston Grand Opera when he created the role of Mr. Zelley in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Bilby's Doll . In 1981 he made his European debut at the Frankfurt Opera as Orestes in Elektra . That same year he portrayed the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. Debuts in leading roles with other international opera houses followed, including the Hamburg State Opera (1983), the Welsh National Opera (1985), the Canadian Opera Company (1986), the Berlin State Opera (1987), the Teatro Colón (1987), the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (1988), the Seattle Opera (1989), and the Pittsburgh Opera (1989) among others. [1]

In 1990 Fox made his debut at the San Francisco Opera as Alberich in The Ring Cycle . In 1991 he returned to the SFO to portray Ryuji Tsukazaki in the United States premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Das Verratene Meer . [3] That same year he made his debut at the Teatro Regio Torino as Giancotto in Zandonai Francesca da Rimini . [1] In 1993 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Alberich in Siegfried , and appeared for the first time at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Scarpia to Maria Guleghina's Tosca. He returned to the Met several times over the next two decades, most recently as Dr. Kolenaty in The Makropulos Affair in 2012. [4]

In 1994 Fox made his debut at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna as Baron Jaroslav Prus in The Makropulos Affair. In 1995 he made his first appearances at the Salzburg Festival ( Lulu ), the Bavarian State Opera (as Klingsor Parsifal ), and at the Municipal Theatre of Santiago (as Wotan in Die Walküre ). In 1996 he returned to Santiago as The Wanderer in Siegfried and portrayed Pizarro in Fidelio at the Salzburg Festival. [1] In 1998 he made his debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Jokanaan in Salome . [5]

More recent engagements for Fox include The Speaker in The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera (2011), Klingsor in Parsifal at the English National Opera (2011) and the BBC Proms (2012), the title role in Giorgio Battistelli's Richard III at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, (2012), Wotan in The Ring Cycle at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (2013-2014), the Water Sprite in Rusalka at the North Carolina Opera (2014), and Alexander Petrowitsch Gorjantschikow in From the House of the Dead at the Berlin State Opera (2014). His scheduled 2015 engagements include the roles of Abraham Lincoln / Lyndon B Johnson in Philip Glass' Appomattox at the Washington National Opera, Barone Douphol in La traviata at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, and The Old Duke in Guntram with the Washington Concert Opera.

Personal life

Fox resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina with his wife, ballet and modern dancer Ilka Doubek. They are the parents of model Lida Fox. [6]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George London (bass-baritone)</span> Opera singer from Canada

George London was an American concert and operatic bass-baritone.

A Heldenbaritone, also known as dramatic bass-baritone or hoher bass , is an opera singer, a German dramatic baritone.

James Peppler Morris is a leading American bass-baritone opera singer. He is known for his interpretation of the role of Wotan in Richard Wagner's operatic cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. The Metropolitan Opera video recording of the complete cycle with Morris as Wotan has been described as an "exceptional issue on every count." It was broadcast on PBS in 1990, to the largest viewing audience of the Ring Cycle in human history.

Gustav Neidlinger was a German bass-baritone, known as a performer of Wagner's villains, especially Alberich and Klingsor, from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. Born in Mainz, Neidlinger studied at the Frankfurt conservatory, where he was trained by Otto Rottsieper. He debuted in 1931 at the Stadttheater in Mainz, where he sang until 1934. In 1934 and 1935, he performed at the Stadttheater in Plauen, Sachsen. From 1935 to 1950, he was a member of the Hamburg opera, where In 1937 he took part in the world premiere of the opera Schwarzer Peter by Norbert Schultze. In 1950, he joined the Stuttgart Staatsoper, where he became very popular and was, in 1977, named an honorary member. In Stuttgart, he sang in Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. In 1956 he moved to the Vienna Staatsoper, where he had sung as early as 1941. He also sang at the Paris Opéra (1953–67) and at Covent Garden in London in tandem with the Stuttgart ensemble. He was honored with the title German Kammersänger in 1952.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Stewart (bass-baritone)</span> American bass-baritone singer (1928-2006)

Thomas Stewart was an American bass-baritone who sang an unusually wide range of roles, earning global acclaim particularly for his performances in Wagner's operas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antonio Scotti</span> Italian opera singer

Antonio Scotti was an Italian baritone. He was a principal artist of the New York Metropolitan Opera for more than 33 seasons, but also sang with great success at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Milan's La Scala.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Cassilly</span> American opera singer

Richard Cassilly was an American operatic tenor who had a major international opera career between 1954–90. Cassilly "was a mainstay in the heldentenor repertory in opera houses around the world for 30 years", and particularly excelled in Wagnerian roles like Tristan, Siegmund and Tannhäuser, and in dramatic parts that required both stamina and vocal weight, such as Giuseppe Verdi's Otello and Camille Saint-Saëns's Samson.

Sir Donald Conroy McIntyre is an operatic bass-baritone from New Zealand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sergei Leiferkus</span> Russian opera singer

Sergei Leiferkus is an operatic baritone from Russia, known for his dramatic technique and powerful voice particularly in Russian and Italian language repertoire. He is most notable for his roles as Scarpia in Tosca, Iago in Otello, Grand-prétre de Dagon in Samson et Dalila and Simon Boccanegra as the title role. Leiferkus was born in Leningrad, Russia. He studied music at the St. Petersburg conservatory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Franz Mazura</span> Austrian opera singer and actor (1924–2020)

Franz Mazura was an Austrian bass-baritone opera singer and actor. He performed at the Bayreuth Festival from 1971 for 25 years and at the Metropolitan Opera for 15 years. He was made a Kammersänger in 1980 and an Honorary Member of the Nationaltheater Mannheim in 1990. He most often played villains and strange characters, with signature roles including Klingsor in Wagner's Parsifal. Mazura took part in world premieres, such as the double role of Dr. Schön and Jack the Ripper in the world premiere of the completed version of Alban Berg's Lulu at the Paris Opera in 1979, and as Abraham in Giorgio Battistelli's Lot in 2017. Two of his recordings received Grammy Awards. His voice was described as with dark timbre, powerful and like granite, with perfect diction. His acting ability was described as "well-supplied with vivid imaginative touches, whether deployed in comic roles or characters of inexorable malevolence. Mazura could achieve more impact with a lifted eyebrow or a belligerently thrust chin than many artists could with a ten-minute monologue." He had a long career, appearing at the Staatsoper Berlin the night before his 95th birthday.

William Dooley was an American bass-baritone singer who performed with many prominent opera companies. He began his career in Germany in the late 1950s, ultimately becoming a leading performer at the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1962 to 1964. He then embarked on a highly successful career at the Metropolitan Opera where he sang regularly between 1964 and 1977. Between 1977 and 1982 he sang regularly at the Vienna State Opera, after which he remained active as a freelance artist on the international stage through the early 1990s.

Ekkehard Wlaschiha was a German operatic baritone who specialized in Wagnerian "villains", such as Alberich, Klingsor and Friedrich von Telramund. He performed at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Metropolitan Opera, and left many recordings.

Neil Howlett was an English operatic baritone who sang leading roles in major opera houses and festivals in the UK and abroad, including the Royal Opera House, Teatro Colón, and the English National Opera, where he was the Principal Baritone for seventeen years. Described by John Steane as "a vibrant voice somewhat in the Amato/Franci line", Howlett's repertoire included over 80 roles.

Yevgeny Igorevich Nikitin is a Russian bass-baritone opera singer. In the West he is usually billed as "Evgeny Nikitin"

Samuel Youn is a South Korean operatic bass baritone.

Warwick Olney Fyfe is an Australian operatic heldenbaritone who has an international career. Winner of the Helpmann Award for Best Male in an Operatic Feature Role for his performance as Alberich in Opera Australia's 2013 Bi-Centenary Cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the State Theatre in Melbourne. In August 2017 a career highlight was singing Klingsor in a concert performance of Richard Wagner's Parsifal starring Jonas Kaufmann with Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House.

Hans Günter Nöcker was a German operatic bass-baritone who was based at the Bavarian State Opera for decades, performing in several world premieres including Aribert Reimann's Lear, and also had an international career.

Heinz Imdahl was a German operatic baritone. A member of the Bavarian State Opera, he performed many leading roles at the Vienna State Opera, and appeared as Beethoven's Pizarro at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Wagner's Hans Sachs at the Philadelphia Opera.

Frederick Burchinal is an American operatic baritone, whose career centered on the works of Giuseppe Verdi as well as verismo opera more broadly. Burchinal is best known for his association with the Metropolitan Opera, and sang with the company for over 22 years.

Gottfried Hornik is an Austrian operatic baritone and voice teacher. He was a member of the Vienna State Opera for 25 years and appeared worldwide in leading roles. His signature role was Beckmesser in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. He was awarded the title of an Austrian Kammersänger.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Tom Fox". Operissimo concertissimo . Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  2. Ashley Tongret (June 15, 2010). "Tom Fox Joins The Cast Of Cincinnati Opera's Otello" (PDF). Cincinnati Opera Media Release.
  3. "Tom Fox". San Francisco Opera Archives. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  4. "Tom Fox". Metropolitan Opera Archives. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  5. Paul Griffiths (January 24, 1998). "OPERA REVIEW; 'Salome,' Insulting But Still Winning". The New York Times .
  6. Leslie Moore (June 2013). "Lida Fox: High Fashion En Pointe". Sasee.