Fritz Foss, Horn
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Joined Lyric Orchestra in 2012
Education: Boston University
What is your most memorable Lyric experience?
After I won my Lyric Audition, I was invited to the opera performance that night. During intermission I met my new co-workers backstage. So many nice people in the orchestra congratulated and welcomed me. I really feel like this is a special group of people!
What work coming up in future seasons are you most looking forward to performing?
I’m looking forward to playing Wagner’s Ring Cycle for a couple reasons. It’s wonderful music with rich textures and sonorities from which I’ve played excerpts for years, but I never had the opportunity to play it in its entirety. Only the largest opera companies can afford to perform it due to its duration and scale. It also features the Wagner tuba, an instrument Richard Wagner developed specifically for his music, which I’ll be playing.
Was there a specific moment or experience during which you first connected with your instrument or with opera in general?
The experience that first connected me to becoming a professional horn player happened during the summer around age 10, actually singing with the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (now Anima). We sang with the Chicago Symphony when they needed a children’s chorus. My first experience singing with them was on Mahler's Eighth Symphony, the “Symphony of a Thousand" at Ravinia. And fatefully, they put us right behind the horns! There’s nothing like that sound with all those people performing together. It made quite an impression on me. I knew I wanted to do that--I was in heaven!
Why did you choose your instrument?
I chose the horn because of its sound. My parents would take us to see concerts in the town park, and we’d watch orchestra concerts on PBS. When the horns played, I'd get a big grin on my face. It has a noble, pure, full, simple tone that just catches your ear. I like how it blends with the woodwinds and the brass, it has a four octave range, and it’s a challenge to play it well. I always have loved the horn’s tone.