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Viorica Ursuleac (26 March 1894 –22 October 1985) was a Romanian operatic soprano. Viorica Ursuleac was born the daughter of a Greek Orthodox archdeacon, in Chernivtsi, which is now in Ukraine. Following training in Vienna, she made her operatic debut in Zagreb (Agram), as Charlotte in Massenet's Werther , in 1922. The soprano then appeared at the Vienna Volksoper (1924–26), Frankfurt Opera (1926–30), Vienna State Opera (1930–35), Berlin State Opera (1935–37), and Bavarian State Opera (1937–44). She married the Austrian conductor Clemens Krauss in Frankfurt during her time there.
She was Richard Strauss's favorite soprano, and he called her die treueste aller Treuen ("the most faithful of all the faithful").[ This quote needs a citation ] She sang in the world premieres of four of his operas: Arabella (1933), Friedenstag (which was dedicated to Ursuleac and Krauss, 1938), Capriccio (1942), and the public dress-rehearsal of Die Liebe der Danae (1944).
She appeared at the Salzburg Festival (1930–34 and 1942–43) and in one season at Covent Garden (1934) where she sang in the first performances in England of Jaromír Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper and Arabella (her favorite role). She also appeared as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello at the Royal Opera, with Lauritz Melchior in the name part, and Sir Thomas Beecham conducting.
Ursuleac sang at La Scala in Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten (as the Empress), and Elektra (as Chrysothemis), Mozart's Così fan tutte , and Wagner's Die Walküre (as Sieglinde). Her only American appearances were at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, as Brangäne in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde , opposite Kirsten Flagstad, in 1948. Also in her repertory were the Countess Almaviva ( The Marriage of Figaro ), Donna Elvira ( Don Giovanni ), Leonore ( Fidelio ), Senta ( Der fliegende Holländer , with Hans Hotter), Amelia Grimaldi ( Simon Boccanegra ), Amelia ( Un ballo in maschera ), Leonora ( La forza del destino ), Élisabeth de Valois ( Don Carlos ), Tosca , Minnie ( La fanciulla del West ), Suor Angelica (opposite Luise Willer), Turandot (opposite Erna Berger's Liù), Der Rosenkavalier , Ariadne auf Naxos (first as the Composer, then as Ariadne), Die ägyptische Helena , etc.
She was awarded the title of an Austrian Kammersängerin in 1934, a Prussian Kammersängerin in 1935. She gave her farewell in 1953 in Wiesbaden in Der Rosenkavalier. She was appointed professor at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1964. The soprano recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in 1933, 1936, and 1943, with excerpts from Arabella, Le nozze di Figaro, Tosca, Turandot, Der Rosenkavalier, Il trovatore, and Capriccio, as well as two Lieder of Strauss.
Ursuleac's voice was not of great beauty, at least as recorded, but she was reckoned a great musician and actress. In the words of one colleague, the soprano Hildegard Ranczak, "Although she had a lovely, facile top, I was constantly amazed at the two hours' vocalizing she went through before each performance. Hers was, in my opinion, a marvelously constructed, not really natural voice which she used with uncanny intelligence".[ This quote needs a citation ] Ursuleac died at the age of ninety-one in the village of Ehrwald in Tyrol where she had resided since before the death in 1954 of her husband, Clemens Krauss.
Olga Maria Elisabeth Friederike Schwarzkopf, was a German-born Austro-British soprano. She was among the foremost singers of lieder, and was renowned for her performances of Viennese operetta, as well as the operas of Mozart, Wagner and Richard Strauss. After retiring from the stage, she was a voice teacher internationally. She is considered one of the greatest sopranos of the 20th century.
Kirsten Malfrid Flagstad was a Norwegian opera singer and a highly regarded Wagnerian soprano. She ranks among the greatest singers of the 20th century, and many opera critics called hers "the voice of the century." Desmond Shawe-Taylor wrote of her in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera: "No one within living memory surpassed her in sheer beauty and consistency of line and tone."
Leopoldine Rysanek was an Austrian dramatic soprano.
Clemens Heinrich Krauss was an Austrian conductor and opera impresario, particularly associated with the music of Richard Strauss.
Anja Silja Regina Langwagen is a German soprano who is known for her great abilities as a singing-actress and for the vastness of her repertoire.
Dame Gwyneth Jones, is a Welsh operatic dramatic soprano, widely regarded as the greatest Wagnerian soprano that Britain has ever produced.
Anna Tomowa-Sintow is a Bulgarian soprano who has sung to great acclaim in all the major opera houses around the world in a repertoire that includes Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss. She enjoyed a particularly close professional relationship with conductor Herbert von Karajan from 1973 until the conductor's death in 1989.
Soile Marja Isokoski is a Finnish lyric soprano. She is an opera singer as well as a concert and lieder singer.
Dame Sarah Patricia Connolly is an English mezzo-soprano. Although best known for her baroque and classical roles, Connolly has a wide-ranging repertoire which has included works by Wagner as well as various 20th-century composers. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to music.
A dramatic soprano is a type of operatic soprano with a powerful, rich, emotive voice that can sing over, or cut through, a full orchestra. Thicker vocal folds in dramatic voices usually (but not always) mean less agility than lighter voices but a sustained, fuller sound. Usually this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. They are often used for heroic, often long-suffering, tragic women of opera. Dramatic sopranos have a range from approximately low A (A3) to "high C" (C6). Some dramatic sopranos, known as Wagnerian sopranos, have an exceptionally big voice that can assert itself over a large orchestra (of more than 80 or even 100 pieces). These voices are substantial, often denser in tone, extremely powerful and, ideally, evenly balanced throughout the vocal registers. Wagnerian sopranos usually play mythic heroines. Successful Wagnerian sopranos are rare and often Wagnerian roles are performed by Italianate dramatic sopranos.
Maria Reining was an Austrian soprano, honored with the title Kammersängerin.
Georgine von Milinkovič was a Croatian operatic mezzo-soprano of Czech birth, particularly associated with Wagner and Strauss roles.
Lisa Della Casa was a Swiss soprano most admired for her interpretations of major heroines in operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss, and of German lieder. She was also described as “the most beautiful woman on the operatic stage”.
Astrid Schirmer is a German operatic soprano and an academic teacher. She sang mostly dramatic parts at major German opera houses and appeared at the Bayreuth Festival.
Elisabeth Schärtel was a German operatic mezzo-soprano and contralto. A member of the Cologne Opera from 1959 to 1967, she performed leading parts at major European opera houses and regularly at the Bayreuth Festival.
Camilla Nylund is a Finnish operatic soprano. She appears internationally in lyric-dramatic soprano roles such as Beethoven's Leonore, Verdi's Elisabetta, and Wagner's Elisabeth and Sieglinde. She is especially known for portraying leading female characters in operas by Richard Strauss, such as the Marschallin, Arabella, Ariadne and Countess Madeleine. She appeared at international festivals and at the openings of the Frauenkirche in Dresden and the Elbphilharmonie.
Lioba Braun is a German opera singer and academic teacher at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Based at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, she has appeared mostly in mezzo-soprano parts at major opera houses and festivals. She became internationally known appearing as Brangäne at the Bayreuth Festival in 1994, and performed the soprano part of Isolde on stage first in 2012.
Simone Schneider is a German operatic soprano. As a member of Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, she performed coloratura roles such as the Mozart's Queen of the Night. As a member of the Staatsoper Stuttgart from 2006, she has performed a wide range of leading roles including Donizetti's Maria Stuarda and the Feldmarschallin in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. She performed as a guest in major opera houses in Germany and Europe.
Elsa Cavelti was a Swiss operatic contralto and mezzo-soprano, temporarily also a dramatic soprano, who worked at German and Swiss opera houses and as an international guest. She was an academic voice teacher in Frankfurt.
Adele Kern real name Adele Kern-Klein was a German operatic and operetta coloratura soprano. She was known for her technical perfection and joy of playing. From 1927 to 1935 she sang at the Salzburg Festival as well as at the state operas of Vienna, Berlin and Munich.