Ursuleac, Viorica (1894–1985)

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Ursuleac, Viorica (1894–1985)

Rumanian soprano who created the leading soprano roles in several of Richard Strauss' operas. Born in Czernowitz on March 26, 1894; died in Ehrwald, Tyrol, on October 23, 1985; married Clemens Krauss (the conductor).

Viorica Ursuleac was born in 1894 in the Austro-Hungarian empire which collapsed at the end of World War I. Although she was Rumanian, culturally Ursuleac remained Austro-German. In the old empire, Vienna was the center of culture. It is not surprising then that the young singer trained in Vienna and by 1930 had moved there permanently. She created the leading soprano roles in several of Strauss' operas, in Arabella in Dresden in 1933, in Friedenstag in Munich in 1938, and in Capriccio in Munich in 1942. During her career, Ursuleac gave 506 performances in 12 Strauss roles. She was mainly a Central European performer and appeared only once at Covent Garden, in 1934, where she sang in the English premieres of Arabella and Svanda the Bagpiper. Ursuleac, who had 83 roles in her repertory over her long career, was a notable Tosca and Turandot as well as Senta and Sieglinde.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia