Richard Decker, a native of Pennsylvania, made his professional operatic debut in the role of Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with the Bronx Opera while attending the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
The acclaimed American tenor first came to international attention in as a finalist in the first Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition held in New York, as well as in the third 'Concorso Enrico Caruso' for tenors in Milan, Italy. In the same year he attended the International Opera Studio at the Zürich Opera in Switzerland where he made his European debut in the Eurovision broadcast of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
During a four-year spell at the State Theater in Saarbrücken Richard Decker was also a frequent guest at such international festivals as Aix-en-Provence and Macerata. In 1990 he completed the transition to the dramatic repertoire with his Vienna State Opera debut in the role of Desportes in Harry Kupfer’s production of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Die Soldaten. Since then he has been engaged by many international opera houses including Metropolitan Opera in New York, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Royal Opera Stockholm, San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Zürich Opera, De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Flanders Opera in Antwerp, Cologne Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and the Frankfurt Opera just to name a few. In July of 2006 Mr. Decker made his celebrated debut at the Tiroler Festspiele with Gustav Kuhn in the roles of Tristan and Parsifal.
He has taken on a wide range of roles including Florestan (Fidelio); the title roles of Parsifal, Tristan, Tannhäuser and Otello; Erik (Der fliegende Holländer), Walther von Stolzing (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg); Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos), Paul (Die tote Stadt), Alfonso (Violanta), Alwa (Lulu), the Drum Major (Wozzeck), Boris (Katja Kabanowa).
Mr. Decker has sung concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with the Hallé Orchestra of Manchester, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, the Korean National Symphony Orchestra as well as excerpts from Lohengrin and Die Walküre in Wagner Gala concerts with the Tivoli Orchestra in Copenhagen, the Brussels Philharmonic as well as the first Act of Die Walküre in a semi-staged concert performance with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Decker sang his first Samson in 'Samson et Dalila' at the Royal Opera in Stockholm in 2008 and subsequently alternating performances as Samson with Jose Cura in Seoul in 2011.
In July 2012 Richard Decker was engaged by the Bayreuther Festspiele as cover for the Tannhäuser and Tristan performances. He made his much-celebrated Bayreuth debut during the final dress rehearsal of Tristan when Robert Dean Smith became indisposed at the onset of Act three causing Decker to continue the performance as Dean's replacement.
January of 2013 saw the return of Richard Decker to the Metropolitan Opera in New York as cover for Jonas Kaufmann in the MET's new production of Parsifal. In the fall of 2013 he will also be engaged as cover for the new production of Parsifal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Mr. Decker can be heard on recordings of Der Sturz des Antichrist by Viktor Ullmann; both CD and DVD of Parsifal recorded live from Teatro La Fenice in Venice on the Dynamic label. Tristan und Isolde from the State Theater Dessau on the ARTHAUS label.
The recently released DVD of Wagner's Ring from Theater Lübeck in which Mr. Decker sang the role of Siegfried in Götterdämmerung received the Echo Klassik 2012 prize for best DVD recording of an opera.