Ursula Boese

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Ursula Boese
Born(1928-07-27)27 July 1928
Died25 October 2016(2016-10-25) (aged 88)
EducationMusikhochschule Hamburg
OrganizationHamburgische Staatsoper

Ursula Boese (27 July 1928 – 25 October 2016)[1] was a German operatic contralto. A member of the Hamburgische Staatsoper from 1960 to 1993, she made an international career. She appeared as Stavinsky's Iocaste at the San Francisco Opera in the presence of the composer, as Wagner's Fricka in Wieland Wagner's last production of the Ring Cycle at the Bayreuth Festival, and as Verdi's Ulrica alongside Luciano Pavarotti.


Born in Hamburg, Boese studied voice at the Musikhochschule Hamburg in her hometown, graduating with a diploma, and began as a concert singer during her studies.[2]

In 1958, she appeared at the Bayreuth Festival for the first time, making her stage debut, as Floßhilde and Second Norne in Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch.[2] She sang there several roles, including in 1969 Fricka in the Ring Cycle, staged by Wieland Wagner.

She became a member of the Hamburgische Staatsoper in 1960,[2] where she remained until her retirement in 1993.[1] She was awarded the title Hamburgische Kammersängerin on 21 May 1969 by Rolf Liebermann.[3][1]

She appeared at the Vienna State Opera first in 1960 as First Norne in Götterdämmerung, and in 1963 at La Scala in Milan as Iokaste in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex.[3] She appeared as a guest also at the Royal Opera House in London, in Rome, Venice, Turin, at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Chicago Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona, and the Paris Opéra. She sang at the Edinburgh Festival and the Holland Festival. With the Hamburg ensemble, she appeared in Florence, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Opéra de Montréal, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, in Moscow and in Tokyo.[2]

Boese took part in world premieres, such as Mrs. Bradshaw in Alexander Goehr's Arden muß sterben in Hamburg on 5 March 1967, and as Schwarze Nachbarin in Udo Zimmermann's Die wundersame Schustersfrau at the Schwetzingen Festival on 25 April 1982.[2] She was Iokaste in at the San Francisco Opera in 1968, with Stravinsky's in the audience.[2] In 1969, she was the partner of Joan Sutherland in Handel's Giulio Cesare.[2] In 1973, she appeared as Ulrica in a new production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Sherrill Milnes.[4]


Cover of her autobiography
  • Ursula Boese. Erfolg oder Rausschmiß. Auf den Opernbühnen von Bayreuth, Hamburg, Paris… U. Boese, Hamburg 1993 (140 p.)


  1. ^ a b c "Hamburger Kammersängerin Ursula Boese gestorben" (in German). Musik Heute. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kutsch, K. J.; Riemens, Leo (2012). "Boese, Ursula". Großes Sängerlexikon (in German) (4th ed.). Walter de Gruyter. p. 470. ISBN 978-3-59-844088-5.
  3. ^ a b "Duitse alt Ursula Boese overleden (88)" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  4. ^ Leberecht, Norman (2 November 2016). "Wieland Wagner's Fricka has died, at 88". slippedisc.com. Retrieved 8 August 2019.

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