The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview

U

'Udite. udite. o rustici'. Dulcamara's (bs) aria in Act I of Donizetti L'elisir d'amore in which he advertises his quack wares.

Uhde, Hermann (b Bremen, 20 July 1914; d Copenhagen, 10 Oct. 1965). German bassbaritone. Studied Bremen with P. Kraus. Début Bremen 1936 (Titurel). Munich 19402. 1951-60; Hamburg 1947-50; Vienna, S, 1950-1; Bayreuth 1951-7, 1960; London, CG, 1953, 1954-60; New York, M, 1955-64. Large repertory included Mozart's Figaro, Pizarro, Caspar, Dappertutto, Philip, Wotan, Gunther, Klingsor, Amfortas, Mandryka, Wozzeck, Tarquinius; created Creon ( Antigonae). A highly cultivated, intelligent, and sensitive singer-actor of great integrity. (R)

Ulfung. Ragnar (b Oslo, 28 Feb. 1927). Norwegian tenor. Studied Oslo, and Milan with Minghetti. Début Oslo 1952 (Magician, The Cosul). Swedish Royal O from 1958; London, CG, 1960, 1963, 1970-6; New York, M, 1972; Milan, S, 1973. A very gifted (and athletic) dramatic performer, impressive as Tamino, Don Carlos, Gustavus III, Lensky, Mime, Herod, Tom Rakewell, števa, and in the parts he has created, notably Maxwell Davies's Taverner. (R)

Ulrica. See ARVIDSON.

Umlauff, Ignaz (b Vienna, 1746; d Vienna, 8 June 1796). Austrian composer, conductor, and viola player. He wrote his first Singspiel, Die Insel der Liebe, in 1772. When Emperor Josef II announced the foundation of the new National-Singspiel in 1778, Umlauff was appointed Kapellmeister and commissioned to write the work for the opening night. Die Bergknappen (The Miners, 1778) was an immediate success and four further works were given by the company during the following five years: Die schöne Schusterin ( 1779), ( 1782), Die Apotheke ( 1778), and Welches ist die beste Nation? ( 1782).

Umlauffwas one of the principal founders of Viennese Singspiel. He and his contemporaries combined folk-style music with elements of Italian opera, also frequently basing their works on the local theatrical tradition. The success of his works was due in no small measure to the entertaining variety of his material, and to his ability to write humorous pieces with a strong sense of drama.

'Una bella serenata. The terzetto in Act I of Mozart's Cost fan tutte, in which Ferrando (ten) plans a serenade for Dorabella and Guglielmo (bar) a banquet for Fiordiligi, while Don Alfonso (bs) hopes to be invited.

'Una donna di quindici anni'. Despina's (sop) aria in Act II of Mozart Cost fan tutte, describing the wiles of love to her mistresses.

'Una furtiva lagrima'. Nemorino's (ten) aria in Act II of Donizetti L'elisir d'amore, in which he sees by the tear in Adina's eye that she loves him.

'Un'aura amorosa'. Ferrando's (ten) aria in Act I of Mozart Cost fan tutte, in which he sentimentally describes Dorabella's love.

'Una voce poco fà'. Rosina's (mez) aria in Act I of Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia, in which she recalls the serenade by Count Almaviva ( Lindoro) that awoke her love, and promises to use all her powers to ensure that he will be hers.

'Un bel vedremo'. Butterfly's (sop) aria in Act II of Puccini Madama Butterfly, in which she sings of Pinkerton's hoped-for return.

'Un all' azzurro spazio'. Chénier's (ten) aria in Act I of Giordano Andrea Chénier, in which he denounces the selfishness of those in authority. Sometimes known as the 'Improvviso'.

'Un felice'. The love duet between Violetta (sop) and Alfredo (ten) in Act I of Verdi La traviata.

Undine. The heroine of a popular Central European folk legend. Conceived by Paracelsus as one of the elemental spirits, she is the spirit of the waters; she has been created without a soul, and can only gain one by marrying a mortal and bearing him a child, though she must thereby take on all the penalties of humanity. The legend was given great popularity among the Romantics by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's tale ( 1811). She is the German equivalent of the Slavonic

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