Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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(Fr.; It. ondeggiando).

A term, or variants of it, used in the 19th century for various ways of creating an undulation in the sound – hence it was occasionally used to describe vibrato. More commonly, however, it referred to a ‘wavy’ motion executed by moving the bow back and forth across two or more adjacent strings, a device found in violin literature as early as the 17th century. It is, thus, similar to Bariolage. Habeneck (c1835) emphasizes that the technique requires a free arm and flexible wrist. See Bow, §II, 2(viii).


Onegin [Onégin; née Hoffmann], (Elisabeth Elfriede Emilie) Sigrid [Lilly]

(b Stockholm, 1 June 1889; d Magliaso, Switzerland, 16 June 1943). Franco-German contralto and mezzo-soprano. Though often described as Swedish, she was in fact the daughter of a French father and a German mother. She sang first as Lilly Hoffmann; after her marriage to Baron Eugene Borisovitch Lvov Onégin (1883–1919) – a Russian émigré, pianist and composer who had adopted the surname of Pushkin’s celebrated hero – she used the name Lilly Hoffmann-Onégin, but soon adopted the professional name by which she was to become famous. She studied in Munich and Milan, and later had lessons or advice from Lilli Lehmann and Margarete Siems. She was first engaged by the Stuttgart Opera in 1912; but from 1919 to 1922, after her husband’s early death, she was a member of the Hofoper in Munich, and in 1920 married Dr Fritz Penzoldt. She had two Metropolitan Opera seasons (1922–4) and one at Covent Garden (1927), in both houses singing only Amneris and Wagner roles; she also sang at Salzburg (Gluck’s Orpheus, 1931–2) and at Bayreuth (1933–4). Onegin’s greatest successes were in concerts, in which she would often sing Rossini arias; she was also a notable interpreter of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody. She had the finest and most highly trained voice of its kind since Schumann-Heink, whose repertory and manner of singing she emulated without approaching the older singer’s fire and communicative power. Notwithstanding her rich tone and astonishing technique, her recordings suggest also something marmoreal in their smoothness and coldness of style.


F. Penzoldt: Alt-Rhapsodie: Sigrid Onégin, Leben und Werk (Magdeburg, 1939, 3/1953)

J. Dennis: ‘Sigrid Onegin’, Record Collector, v (1950), 223–31 (incl. discography], 280–81; xii (1959), 200


O’Neill, Dennis

(b Pontardulais, 25 Feb 1948). Welsh tenor. He studied at Sheffield University and with Frederick Cox, and after solo appearances with Scottish Opera’s ‘Opera for All’ (1971) he joined the Glyndebourne chorus (1974) and sang at the Wexford Festival. During two seasons as principal tenor with South Australian Opera, he created a role in Sitsky’s Fiery Tales (1976). Thereafter he sang lyric roles with Scottish Opera and the WNO, then studied further in Italy with Ettore Campogalliani and Luigi Ricci. His débuts at Covent Garden in 1979 as Flavio (Norma) and at Glyndebourne in 1980 as the Italian Tenor (Der Rosenkavalier) were followed by leading roles in both theatres and with the ENO. In 1983 he made débuts in the USA at Dallas as Edgardo (Lucia) and at the Vienna Staatsoper as Alfredo, a role he also sang with the Metropolitan Opera on tour in 1986 before singing Rodolfo with them in New York the next year. In 1990 he sang Gabriele Adorno in Cologne and Foresto (Attila) at Covent Garden, and has subsequently expanded his Verdi repertory to include such roles as Radames, Don Alvaro (La forza del destino), Macduff and Otello. O’Neill combines a fine-spun Italianate tone with an intelligent perception of style and character. His recordings include Cavaradossi, Dick Johnson (La fanciulla del West) and Verdi’s Requiem. A governor of the Welsh College of Music and Drama, he has set up a bursary in his own name to help young WNO singers to study abroad.


O'Neill, Francis

(b Tralibane, Co. Cork, 28 Aug 1848; d Chicago, 28 Jan 1936). Irish musician, collector and publisher. Born of farming stock in an Irish-speaking area, O'Neill showed early intellectual promise and played the traditional flute from youth. He went to sea as a teenager and sailed around the world before being shipwrecked and landed in America, where he joined the Chicago police force in 1873 and rose through the ranks to become Chief of Police 1901–5. With a fellow policeman James O'Neill (1863–1947, no relation) as scribe, he began from the 1880s preserving in manuscript melodies remembered from his childhood. He then expanded this activity to collecting Irish music from the many traditional Irish musicians resident in Chicago and from printed and manuscript sources. In 1903 he produced O'Neill's Music of Ireland: Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Melodies, the largest collection of Irish music ever published. This was followed by other Chicago-compiled tune collections, chiefly: The Dance Music of Ireland (1907), O'Neill's Irish Music (2/1915), Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (2/1924). The two latter were arranged for piano by Selena O'Neill (no relation). O'Neill also wrote two studies of Irish traditional music which contain a wealth of musical and biographical information: Irish Folk Music: a Fascinating Hobby (1910) and Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913). O'Neill's publications, which are mostly still kept in print, were ground-breaking in preserving Irish dance music and have had a great impact on the course of the music in the twentieth century.


N. Carolan: A Harvest Saved: Francis O'Neill and Irish Music in Chicago (Cork, 1997)


O’Neill, Norman (Houstoun)

(b London, 14 March 1875; d London, 3 March 1934). English composer and conductor. After studying with Somervell in London (1890–93) he worked under Iwan Knorr in Frankfurt at the Hoch Conservatory (1893–7), where at various times his colleagues were Balfour Gardiner, Cyril Scott, Grainger and Quilter (often known as the ‘Frankfurt group’ or ‘gang’). Although he enjoyed modest success with some of his chamber and orchestral works, particularly before the war, he found his niche in the theatre, where he showed unrivalled skill in the composition of incidental music, a genre in which he produced over 50 scores. Between 1901 and 1908 he wrote incidental music for various theatres in collaboration with John Martin-Harvey. He was permanent conductor of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, from 1909 to 1919 and from 1920 to 1932, with a temporary move to the St James's Theatre (1919–20). At the Haymarket he won acclaim for his music to Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird (1909), Lord Dunsany's The Golden Doom (1912) and especially J.M. Barrie's Mary Rose (1920). From 1916 to 1934 O’Neill was treasurer of the Royal Philharmonic Society. A close friend of Delius, he did much to support performances of the composer's work in London. In 1924 he joined the teaching staff of the RAM and also examined for the Associated Board. His wife, Adine O’Neill (née Ruckert), a concert pianist, was for a time London critic of the Monde musical and in 1903 became head music mistress at St Paul's Girls' School, Hammersmith.


(selective list)

incidental music

After All (E.G.E. Lytton), London, 1901–2; The Exile (Osbourne, Strong), London, 1902; Hamlet (W. Shakespeare), op.13, Dublin, l904; A Lonely Queen, op.22 (J. Comyns Carr), New York, 1906; The Bride of Lammermoor (The Last Heir), op.28 (S. Phillips, after W. Scott), London, 1908; King Lear (Shakespeare), op.36, London, 1909; The Blue Bird, op.37 (M. Maeterlinck), London, 1909; The Gods of the Mountain, op.41 (Dunsany), London, 1911; The Golden Doom, op.44 (Dunsany), London, 1912; The Pretenders, op.45 (H. Ibsen), London, 1913; Through the Green Door (M.V. Vernon), Manchester, 1919; Julius Caesar (Shakespeare), London, 1920; Macbeth (Shakespeare), London, 1920

Mary Rose (J.M. Barrie), London, 1920; Quality Street (Barrie), London, 1921; The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare), New York, 1922; Success (A.A. Milne), 1923; A Kiss for Garlands (Barrie), London, 1924; Kismet (E. Knoblock), London, 1925; The Man with the Load of Mischief (A. Dukes), London, 1925; Mr Pickwick (C. Hamilton, F.C. Reilly, after C. Dickens), London, 1928; The Ivory Door (Milne), London, 1929; Measure for Measure (Shakespeare), London, 1929; Henry V (Shakespeare), London, 1933

other works

Ballets: A Forest Idyll, c1913; Before Dawn, London, 1917; Punch and Judy, London, 1924; Alice in Lumberland, London, 1926

Choral: Waldemar, op.19, solo vv, chorus, orch; 8 National Songs, op.34, unison vv, orch; partsongs, unison songs

Orch: Suite, op.3, str, 1893–7; In Autumn, op.8, ov., 1901; Miniatures, op.14, small orch, 1904; In Springtime, op.21, ov., 1905–6; Miniatures, op.25, 1908; Theme and Variations on an Irish Air, op.29, 1910; A Scotch Rhapsody, op.30, 1911; Humoresque, op.47, ov., 1913; Hornpipe, op.48, 1916; Irish Jig, chbr orch, 1923; Festal Prelude, 1927; 2 Shakespearean Sketches, 1928

Vocal orch: Death on the Hills, op.12 (R. Newmarch), A, orch; La belle dame sans merci, op.31 (J. Keats), Bar, orch; The Farmer and the Fairies (H. Asquith), spkr, orch

Chbr: Variations on ‘Pretty Polly Oliver’, op.1, pf trio, 1895; Sonata, op.2, vc, pf, 1896; Scherzo and Romance, op.6, vn, pf, 1897; Pf Trio, a, op.7, 1900; Pf Qnt, op.10, 1902–3; Pf Trio, F, op.32, 1909; Berceuse, op.33, vn, pf, 1909; Scherzo, op.52, str qt; 2 Pieces, vn, pf, 1921

Songs: The Indian Serenade (P.B. Shelley), 1900; 2 Songs, op.16 (R. Newmarch), 1904; 5 Rondels, op.18 (W.E. Henley, G. Moore, A. Symons, anon.), 1907; 2 French Songs, op.26 (P. Verlaine, P. Fort), 1907; 2 Songs, op.35 (G. van Ruith, Keats), 1909; A Song Cycle (E. Temple Thurston), 1924; Echoes of Erin (H. Boulton), 1926; others incl. songs from plays

Pf: 4 Compositions, op.4, 1898; Variations and Fugue, op.5, 1898; 3 Pieces, op.15, 1904; Variations and Fugue on an Irish Theme, op.17, 1905; 3 Pieces, op.20, 1906; 2 Studies, op.24, 1911; 3 Old English Pieces, 1919; Suite, 1927; 3 Sketches, 1928

Principal publishers: Bosworth, Cramer, Prowse, Schott


N. O’Neill: ‘Music to Stage Plays’, PMA, xxxvii (1910–11), 85–102

E. Fenby: Delius as I Knew him (London, 1936, 2/1948/R, 3/1966)

D. Hudson: Norman O’Neill: a Life of Music (London, 1945)

T. Armstrong: ‘The Frankfurt Group’, PRMA, lxxxv (1958–9), 1–16

E. Irving: Cue for Music (London, 1959)

S. Lloyd: H. Balfour Gardiner (Cambridge, 1984)

C. Ehrlich: First Philharmonic: a History of the Royal Philharmonic Society (Oxford, 1995)


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