Wieland Wagner’s Fricka has died, at 88

Wieland Wagner’s Fricka has died, at 88


norman lebrecht

November 02, 2016

A member of the Hamburg State Opera from 1960 to 1993, the contralto Ursula Boese sang a variety of roles at Bayreuth from 1958 to 1965, notably Fricka in Wieland Wagner’s last Ring cycle.

As a guest artist, or as part of the Hamburg ensemble, she went on to sing on all the world’s major stages, from Salzburg to the Met. Probably her starriest moment was a 1973 Ballo she shared in Hamburg with Luciano Pavarotti and Sherill Milnes.

Ursula Boese with Stravinsky after a 1963 Hamburg performance of Oedipus Rex. (Photo: U. Boese)


  • Pedro says:

    It’s Fricka, not Fricke.

  • Olassus says:

    In case anyone is interested, her 1962 performances of Fricka in Buenos Aires were recorded as part of a Ring cycle conducted by Heinz Wallberg. Decent Wotan and Brünnhilde, too, from when Argentina had money:


    The Hamburg Ballo from 1974, with Pavarotti but not Milnes, is also available on disc.