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Ursula Boese (Contralto)

Born: July 27, 1928 - Hamburg, Germany
Died: October 25, 2016 - Hamburg, Germany

The German contralto, Ursula Boese, studied at the Hamburg Musikhochschule.

Already during her training Ursula Boese began in 1955 to appear as concert alto singer. After big successes in the concert hall, she participated in 1958 at the Festival of Bayreuth in her stage debut as Floßhilde and as 2nd Norn in Der Ring des Nibelungen. She could be heard also in 1958-1959 as Knappen in Parsifal, in 1958 as Roßweiße, in 1962 as Floßhilde, in 1959 and 1965 as 2nd Norn, in 1965 as Fricka and as Grimgerde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, in 1959 and 1962 as alto solo in Parsifal. In 1960 she became a member at Hamburg State Opera. She appeared there in 1969 in the premiere of the opera Die Teufel von Loudun by K. Penderecki, and also in 1968 in children opera Help! Help! The Globolinks by G.C. Menotti.

An extensive appearance activity on the stage as in the concert hall marked Ursula Boese’s further career. She made guest appearance, partially with that Hamburg ensemble, at the Covent Garden Opera in London, at Milan’s La Scala, at the Opera of Rome, at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, at the State Opera of Vienna and at the Grand Opéra in Paris. She sang at the Festivals of Wiesbaden and Edinburgh and at the Holland Festival. In 1966 she appeared as a guest with the Hamburg ensemble at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1967 she could be heard in Hamburg in the premiere of the opera Arden muß sterben by Alexander Goehr, in 1969 as partner of the famous Primadonna Joan Sutherland in Giulio Cesare by George Frideric Handel, in 1968 in San Francisco in a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex in presence of the composer, in 1982 at the Festival of Schwetzingen in the premiere of the opera Die wundersame Schustersfrau by Udo Zimmermann. In addition she was a highly estimated concert alto singer, particularly a great J.S. Bach interpreter.

Recordings: MMS (Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248) by J.S. Bach), DGG (including complete operas Der Evangelimann by Kienzl, Salome by R. Strauss, Lulu by Alban Berg), Westminster (Erda in Der Ring des Nibelungen), Philips (Parsifal, Die Teufel von Loudun by Penderecki), Metronome (Lieder).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (June 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2004); Manfred Krugmann (Dates & Photos 02-07, November 2016)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Günther Ramin


BWV 248

Max Thurn


BWV 15
BWV 85, BWV 92, BWV 115, BWV 182

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