(in memorium - although Andy passed away late last year, his kindness and encouragement to not only Black Box but to any number of singers left ripples that continue to resonate on stages around the world.)

Born in Budapest and raised in the United States, Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Andrew Foldi has been recognized as one of the finest basso-buffos in the United States and Europe. During his career, Mr. Foldi has sung with virtually every major opera company on both continents.

In 1981, while still singing, he was appointed chairman of the Opera Department of the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 1991, he became the director of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists in Chicago, retiring in 1995.

He started to study piano at age five in Budapest ultimately entering the University of Chicago as a musicology major in 1943. While still a student, he became music critic of the Chicago Times in 1947. After his stint as critic, he began serious vocal studies with Richard deYoung and the noted French baritone Martial Singher.

He was one of three initial audition winners of the then newly formed Lyric Theater of Chicago in 1954, joining the Santa Fe Opera in its initial season in 1957, the San Francisco Opera in 1960 and became the leading basso-buffo of the opera in Zurich in 1961. While living in Europe he sang at La Scala in Milan, the Staatsoper in Vienna and many other opera companies and festivals. He moved back to the United States in 1974 when he joined the Metropolitan Opera, where he sang until 1988. He has an extensive concert repertoire and has appeared with Jameverance Hall and at Carnegie Hall as well as at the Blossom Festival. He has also sung under the batons of Georg Solti, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Tulio Serafin, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, as well as other conductors. He has directed around thirty operas, both professionally as well as at the Cleveland Institute s Levine at the Ravinia Festival, with Seiji Ozawa both in Boston and in San Francisco, with Bernard Haitink at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with Rafael Kubelik with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich with Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra at Seand Chicago's Lyric Opera Center.

Mr. Foldi has been associated with many eminent composers, such as Paul Hindemith, Zoltan Kodaly, Benjamin Britten, Ernest Bloch, Gian Carlo Menotti, Ernst Toch, Carlisle Floyd and Igor Stravinsky. He appeared with Mr. Stravinsky on several occasions and was invited by the composer to sing the American premiere of his Abraham and Isaac.

Mr. Foldi returned to the Metropolitan Opera for the last time in the spring of 1988 for his seventeenth production of Alban Berg's Lulu, to repeat his world-famous characterization of Schigolch, which was seen on television during the 1980-81 season in Live from the Met in John Dexter's production. He has sung this role over 100 times in three languages, including the American premiere of the three-act version in Santa Fe in English, the Ljubimov production in Chicago in the autumn of 1987 and in Torino in 1983 in German, the Maggio Musicale in Florence in the spring of 1985 in Italian and numerous other opera houses, including San Francisco, Geneva, and Amsterdam. He has sung every performance of the opera at the Met since its Metropolitan premiere in 1977.

Andrew Porter has called his Schigolch a "virtuoso performance" in The New Yorker. Paul Hume called it "unforgettable" in the Washington Post, Harold Schoenberg "brilliant" in The New York Times and the late Robert Jacobson "a classic" and "the definitive Schigolch" in Opera News. Mr. Foldi's analysis of the character has been published both by Opera News and the Newsletter of the Alban Berg Society.

Mr. Foldi has sung a wide variety of roles at the Met, including Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger, Alberich in the Ring, the Sacristan in Tosca, the Bailli in Werther, as well as the two Bartolos in Le Nozze di Figaro and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In the latter role he also received unanimous critical acclaim from the British press at the Glyndebourne Festival and the Spanish press in Barcelona. He has sung the Rossini Bartolo over 300 times in three languages, including a recording of the opera for Concert Hall Records and a film in German for Austrian Television.

His other Rossini recordings include Don Magnifico and Mustafa for Concert Hall and Macrobio in La Pietra del Paragone for Vanguard which was reissued on CD. His recording of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof was also reissued by Concert Hall. His oratorio recordings include the title role of Handel's Saul (La Voix d'Eglise and Alcanta), Schoenberg's A Modern Psalm (Columbia), Daniel and Gobrias in Handel's Belshazzar, Beethoven's Ruins of Athens and Cantata on the Death of Joseph II (Concert Hall).

Mr. Foldi's television appearances, in addition to Shigolch and Bartolo, include his portrayal of Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow with Beverly Sills, as well as Dulcamara in the production of The Elixir of Love conceived by James deBlasis which was filmed in 1978 for PBS.


ANDREW FOLDI, bass-baritone

        and director                

    Artistic Advisor