Richard Fracker is associate professor of voice (tenor) and area chair of vocal arts at the Michigan State University College of Music. Prior to joining the MSU faculty in September 2004, he performed regularly in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, including 10 seasons and more than 160 performances at the New York Metropolitan Opera. He appeared in 14 “Live from the MET” international and national radio broadcasts, performing 17 roles at the MET including the tenor lead in the Metropolitan Opera’s debut production of Philip Glass’s The Voyage.
Known for his versatility both vocally and dramatically, Fracker has enthusiastically explored both traditional and contemporary repertoires ranging from Britten and Beethoven, to Verdi and Glass over the course of his professional career. Career highlights include world debuts of Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox and Orphée as well as Fracker’s Carnegie Hall debut as the tenor lead in Glass’s demanding Civil Wars. Other career highlights include international and national performances of Cavaradossi (Tosca), Nadir (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Tonio (La Fille du Régiment), the Duke (Rigoletto), The Prince (The Student Prince), Alfredo (La Traviata), Sandy (The Lighthouse), Hoffmann (Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Albert (Albert Herring), Ruggero (La Rondine), and Alfred (Die Fledermaus) among others and include appearances in Spain, Italy, Norway, China, Japan, and Iceland in addition to extensive performances throughout the United States. A member of Columbia Artist’s revival of the Bel Canto Trio, Fracker toured throughout the United States and Canada in the role originally performed by Mario Lanza and has concertized widely with opera and symphonic orchestras in China, Norway, and throughout Europe. U.S concert orchestra appearances include both operatic and oratorio repertoire including appearances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Guanjou Festival Orchestra (China), the Opera Nordfiord Orchestra (Norway), the Chautauqua Symphony, the Little Orchestra of New York, the Riverside Choral Society of New York, the Great Cathedral Series of New York, the New York Summer Music Festival of New York City, the Pueblo Symphony (Colorado) as well as regional performances with the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Ann Arbor Symphony. Fracker has participated in the prestigious Spoleto Festival (Italy and the United States), the Saito Kinen Festival (Japan), and has worked with such illustrious conductors as James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Carlos Kleiber, Nello Santi, Valery Gergiev, and Marco Armeliato, as well as with many of the world’s leading singers.
Awarded the MSU College of Music’s Withrow Excellence in Teaching Award, Fracker has had students who have won international, national, and regional competitions including the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions. They have earned apprenticeships with prestigious opera programs (San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wolftrap, Seattle Opera, and Chautauqua Opera among others), and have appeared professionally in opera, Broadway, films, and concert halls throughout the world. Additionally, Fracker undergraduate students have routinely been accepted into leading graduate programs in the country, including Juilliard, Indiana University, Curtis Institute of Music, University of Michigan, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, University of Illinois, University of North Texas, University of Houston, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Michigan State University, among others. They have earned substantial scholarships, fellowships, and awards. Equally dedicated to music education, Fracker’s former students currently hold teaching positions in colleges, universities, and secondary education throughout the United States.
Additionally, Fracker partnered in 2005 with Haijing Fu, fellow Metropolitan Opera colleague, friend, and internationally acclaimed baritone, to establish and direct the MSU-China Collaboration, featuring vocal students from Michigan State University and China in a two-week collaboration of rehearsals, concerts, and cultural experiences in both China and at Michigan State University. Now in its ninth year, the program has featured and encouraged more than 120 Michigan State University and Chinese graduate and undergraduate students to learn, adapt, and perform in diverse cultural settings. In 2011, Michigan State student collaborative participants won the Grand Prize (ensemble scene performance) of the 2011 Fifth International Student Opera Competition held in Tianjin, China.