Fritz Windgassen was born on February 9, 1883 in in Lennep, near Remscheid.
Following the wishes of his parents, Windgassen took up a career in the German navy as Maschinen-Obermaat. Only after Prince
Heinrich of Prussia praised his singing ability, did he embark on a singing career. After vocal studies at the Bernuth Conservatoire
in Hamburg, he made his début in 1909 in Harburg. Further engagements took him to Bremen, Hamburg and the Hoftheater in Kassel,
where he met the coloratura soprano Vali von der Osten, (1882-1923), whom he married in 1916. From 1923 to 1945,
he was a member of the Staatsoper in Stuttgart. Beginning in 1919, he increasingly specialized in Heldentenor
roles and became a renowned Wagner singer.
He was also much in demand as a concert and Lieder singer. He gave his farewell concert in Stuttgart in 1949, featuring works
by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Hugo Wolf where his son, Wolfgang Windgassen, also took part.
After his retirement from the stage, Windgassen taught at the Stuutgart conservatory.
He died on April 17, 1963 in Murnau.