Cristina Deutekom

Last updated
Cristina Deutekom
Cristina Deutekom, 2011
Stientje Engel

(1931-08-28)28 August 1931
Died7 August 2014(2014-08-07) (aged 82)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Alma mater Conservatorium van Amsterdam
OccupationOpera singer (soprano)
Years active1957–1987
Jacob (Jaap) Deutekom(m. 1952)
AwardsKnight of the Order of Orange-Nassau (1974)

Cristina Deutekom, also known as Christine Deutekom and Christina Deutekom (born Stientje Engel; 28 August 1931 – 7 August 2014, Amsterdam), was a Dutch coloratura soprano opera singer.

Amsterdam Capital of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.

A coloratura soprano is a type of operatic soprano voice that specializes in music that is distinguished by agile runs, leaps and trills.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.


She sang with many of the leading tenors of her time, including Carlo Bergonzi, José Carreras, Franco Corelli, Plácido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Alfredo Kraus, Luciano Pavarotti, and Richard Tucker.

Carlo Bergonzi Italian opera singer

Carlo Bergonzi was an Italian operatic tenor. Although he performed and recorded some bel canto and verismo roles, he was above all associated with the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, including a large number of the composer's lesser known works that he helped revive. Additionally, he sang more than forty other roles throughout his career. Bergonzi is considered one of the 20th century’s most distinguished operatic tenors.

José Carreras Spanish opera singer

Josep Maria Carreras i Coll, better known as José Carreras, is a Spanish tenor who is particularly known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini.

Franco Corelli Italian opera singer

Franco Corelli was an Italian tenor who had a major international opera career between 1951 and 1976. Associated in particular with the spinto and dramatic tenor roles of the Italian repertory, he was celebrated universally for his powerhouse voice, electrifying top notes, clear timbre, passionate singing and remarkable performances. Dubbed the "prince of tenors", Corelli possessed handsome features and a charismatic stage presence which endeared him to audiences. He had a long and fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City between 1961 and 1975. He also appeared on the stages of most of the major opera houses in Europe and with opera companies throughout North America.


Deutekom was born in 1931 in Amsterdam [1] as Stientje Engel.

In 1963 she made her debut with the Netherlands Opera as Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute. After some lesser roles with the company, she contemplated giving up singing altogether, since her career did not seem to progress.

During a performance of Der Rosenkavalier in Spain – in which she was singing the small role of 'Marianne Leitmetzerin' – Christine was overheard warming up in her dressing room by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf – who was singing the 'Marschallin' in that night's performance – with the difficult 'Queen of the Night' aria. Story has it that Schwarzkopf opened the door and asked: "Child, do you know what you are singing there?" and was shocked to hear that she was not performing this role all over the world. "I do not think much of any impresario, that does not recognize such talent", she said and introduced her to her own manager, Rudi Rothenberg. She then went on to conquer the major opera houses in succession with the 'Queen of the Night'. After her performance at the ROH Covent Garden the authoritative "Opera"-magazine reviewed her performance, saying: "Except for Maria Callas in her prime, we have hardly heard anything of equal quality here before". In 1968 she took to the Metropolitan Opera, New York and was acclaimed by the New York Times to be "the greatest Queen of the Night of our time". [2] In 1974 she opened the Met season as Elena in I vespri siciliani alongside Plácido Domingo.

<i>Der Rosenkavalier</i> opera by Richard Strauss

Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59, is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is loosely adapted from the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai and Molière's comedy Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. It was first performed at the Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden on 26 January 1911 under the direction of Max Reinhardt, Ernst von Schuch conducting. Until the premiere the working title was Ochs auf Lerchenau.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf German opera soprano

Dame 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.

Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen aria from The Magic Flute

"Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen", commonly abbreviated "Der Hölle Rache", is an aria sung by the Queen of the Night, a coloratura soprano part, in the second act of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. It depicts a fit of vengeful rage in which the Queen of the Night places a knife into the hand of her daughter Pamina and exhorts her to assassinate Sarastro, the Queen's rival, else she will disown and curse Pamina.

Besides the Queen of the Night, her Mozart roles included Donna Anna in Don Giovanni , Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito . She sang the great bel canto roles, specifically in Rossini's Armida , in Bellini's Norma and I puritani , and in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor .

<i>Don Giovanni</i> opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the National Theater, now called the Estates Theatre, on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed as a dramma giocoso, a common designation of its time that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.

<i>Così fan tutte</i> Italian language opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti, K. 588, is an Italian-language opera buffa in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed on 26 January 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna, Austria. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte who also wrote Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.

<i>La clemenza di Tito</i> opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

La clemenza di Tito, K. 621, is an opera seria in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to an Italian libretto by Caterino Mazzolà, after Pietro Metastasio. It was started after the bulk of Die Zauberflöte, the last opera that Mozart worked on, was already written. The work premiered on 6 September 1791 at the Estates Theatre in Prague.

She went on to the great dramatic Verdi roles including Abigaile in Nabucco , Lady Macbeth, Leonora in Il trovatore , Amelia in Un ballo in maschera , and Elena in I vespri siciliani. Other roles which were captured in commercial recordings include Giselda in I Lombardi and Odabella in Attila . Finally, she sang the title roles in Cherubini's Medea and Puccini's Turandot .

Giuseppe Verdi 19th-century Italian opera composer

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.

<i>Nabucco</i> opera written by Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer

Nabucco is an Italian-language opera in four acts composed in 1841 by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera. The libretto is based on biblical books of Jeremiah and Daniel and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, although Antonio Cortese's ballet adaptation of the play, given at La Scala in 1836, was a more important source for Solera than the play itself. Under its original name of Nabucodonosor, the opera was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 9 March 1842.

<i>Macbeth</i> (opera) opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. Written for the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, it was Verdi's tenth opera and premiered on 14 March 1847. Macbeth was the first Shakespeare play that Verdi adapted for the operatic stage. Almost twenty years later, Macbeth was revised and expanded in a French version and given in Paris on 19 April 1865.

Deutekom decided to end her stage career on the last day of 1986, after suffering heart problems during a performance of the opera Amaya in Bilbao. She turned to giving master classes internationally.

She made a return in November 1996 at the Concertgebouw Operafeest, at the age of 65 singing the Bolero from I vespri siciliani and Anna Elisa's aria Liebe, du Himmel auf Erden from the operetta Paganini , reportedly "bringing the house down". [3] As of 2001, she was a guest teacher at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, but after suffering a stroke in 2004, she retired from public life.

She died on 7 August 2014 after a fall in her home. [4]

Additional operatic repertoire


Personal life

She married Jaap Deutekom, a boxer, in 1952 and they had a daughter, Irma Deutekom, born in 1955.

Related Research Articles

Ileana Cotrubaș is a Romanian opera soprano whose career spanned from the 1960s to the 1980s. She was much admired for her acting skills and facility for singing opera in many different languages.

Renata Scotto Operatic soprano

Renata Scotto is an Italian soprano and opera director.

Raina Kabaivanska singer

Raina Kabaivanska is a Bulgarian opera singer, one of the leading lirico-spinto sopranos of her generation, particularly associated with Verdi and Puccini, although she sang a wide range of roles.

Elena Souliotis Greek singer

Elena Souliotis was a Greek operatic soprano.

Piero Cappuccilli Operatic baritone

Piero Cappuccilli was an Italian operatic baritone. Best known for his interpretations of Verdi roles, he was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian baritones of the second half of the 20th century. He was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major roles.

Irmgard Seefried singer

Irmgard Seefried was a distinguished German soprano who sang opera, sacred music, and lieder.

Hasmik Papian singer

Hasmik Papian is an Armenian soprano. She was awarded the People's Artist of Armenia title in 2004. Papian was named a Cultural ambassador of Armenia in the World for her contributions to Armenian culture in 2005 by the Catholicos of the Holy See of St. Echmiadzin and All Armenians Karekin II and awarded the Order of Saint Sahag and Saint Mesrob and Order of Saint Mesrop Mashdots.

Ruggero Raimondi Italian opera singer

Ruggero Raimondi is an Italian bass-baritone opera singer who has also appeared in motion pictures.

Chris Merritt is an American tenor.

Giorgio Zancanaro is an Italian baritone, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, especially Verdi.

Sondra Radvanovsky singer

Sondra Radvanovsky is an American-Canadian soprano. Specializing in 19th-century Italian opera, Radvanovsky has been called one of the leading Verdi sopranos of her generation. Her signature roles include Elvira in Ernani, Leonora in Il trovatore, Elena in I vespri siciliani, Élisabeth in Don Carlos, and the title role in Norma.

Elena Obraztsova Soviet and russian opera singer

Elena Vasiliyevna Obraztsova was a Russian mezzo-soprano. She was awarded the People's Artist of the USSR in 1976.

Susan Chilcott was an English soprano, considered one of the best of her generation. She died of breast cancer at the age of 40. She had success in many of the major opera houses around the world and was particularly known for her interpretations of Britten and Janáček.

Enzo Mascherini was an Italian operatic baritone, one of the leading baritones of his generation.

Erika Miklósa singer

Erika Miklósa, is a Hungarian coloratura soprano.

Angela Meade opera singer

Angela Meade is an American operatic soprano.

Ángeles Gulín was a Spanish operatic soprano particularly associated with early Verdi works.

Aida Garifullina Russian opera singer

Aida Emilevna Garifullina is a Russian operatic soprano of Tatar origin. She was the winner of the 2013 Operalia competition and has featured in a number of productions staged at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg and the Wiener Staatsoper. She has a recording contract with Decca Records.

Vitalij Kowaljow is a bass opera singer born in Ukraine and living in Switzerland. He initially studied piano as a child, but inspired by his parents, who sang in the choir of his Baptist church in Cherkasy, Ukraine, he took advantage of an offer to study choral conducting for the church. While studying at the Moscow Theological Institute, it was suggested that he take up singing. Working as a fireman at the time, a back injury caused him to cease that job, and he spent more time working with the choir. During a concert where the bass soloists were ill, Kowaljow stepped in, and a Swiss woman present at the concert was impressed by his voice, and arranged for him to audition for the Bern Opera in Switzerland. He went on to study at the Bern Conservatory of Music with Elisabeth Glauser, and obtained a Master's degree.

Lianna Haroutounian Armenian opera singer

Lianna Haroutounian is an Armenian operatic soprano. She studied at the Conservatory of Erevan and the Centre de Formation Lyrique of the Opéra-Bastille. She made her debut with The Royal Opera in 2013, and is considered by some to be a Verdi specialist.


  1. "Cristina Deutekom", Muziek Encyclopedie (in Dutch)
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-09. Retrieved 2015-08-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), Conservatorium van Amsterdam
  3. "Opera Nostalgia web site" . Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  4. "Sopraan Cristina Deutekom (82) overleden". Retrieved 2014-08-08.