- Category : Entertain-Music-Vocalist-Opera
- Type : MS
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Spirit 2
Dutch coloratura soprano and opera singer, famous for her role as "Queen of the Night".
"La Deutekom", born as Christine "Stientje" Engel in the working class Amsterdam Spaarndammerbuurt had a mythic life that could be compared to that of Cinderella wrote the NRC after her unexpected death: The down to earth Amsterdam girl that once on the Nieuwedijk stopped the stockings of the prostitutes of the Wallen, turned to be the world famous dramatic coloratura soprano Cristina Deutekom, who starred in all the major opera houses.
Christine never visited a traditional music school in her youth, but was member of choirs from young age and had private lessons. In the summer of 1948 she met her husband Jacob Deutekom who would guide her career. After her marriage (1952) and the birth of their only daughter (1954), she went to the Amsterdam Conservatory as an adult woman. While still being a student, the composer Edgar Varèse asked her in 1957 to sing the cadenza in his Poème électronique for the World Expo of Brussels in 1958.
On 3 June 1963, the 2nd Pentecost, she broke through in the Netherlands with her splendid role as "Queen of the Night" in Mozart's opera "Die Zauberflöte" with the Dutch Opera. In 1966 she became internationally noticed with her performance with the Bavarian State Opera of Munich. On 28 September 1967 she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as “the greatest Queen of the Night of our time” (NY Times). One can watch Der hölle Rache for her high emotional timbre of voice ("coloratura soprano"). On 9 April 1968 she sang the role of Fiordiligi in "Così fan tutte" in Venice and got the nickname "l’Usignuolo Olandese" (The Dutch nightingale).
She had a great career and was a welcome quest in the famous opera houses. She sang side to side with stars like Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras en Luciano Pavarotti.
Early 1985 she got angina pectoris and on March 31 1985 she got an open heart operation. She came back on 20 October 1985 with a role in verdi's Nabucco in Rouen. Verdi said of this opera:"This is the opera with which my artistic career really begins. And though I had many difficulties to fight against, it is certain that Nabucco was born under a lucky star."
There followed more roles that ended with the series of performances she started on 22 December in 1986 Bilbao with her debute in the title role of in the opera "Amaya", meaning in Arabic "Night rain" of the Basque composer Jesus Guridi (25 September 1886, Vitoria-Gasteiz - 7 April 1961, Madrid)
End December 1986 she ended her international career because of recurring heart disease. But she remained active recording CD's for Philips and was a noticed member of jury's. In 1987 the Cristina Deutekom Concours was founded. As a teacher of the "Koninklijk Conservatorium" in Den Haag she gave in 1991 master classes.
On 27 November 1996 she made a heart moving come back in the Amsterdamse Concertgebouw. She sang the Bolero of Verdi’s "I vespri Siciliani" and "Liebe du Himmel auf Erden" from Léhar's Paganini. "It seemed as if the time on earth was temporally stopped" wrote a critic.
Christine, having a big dramatic voice, became a world famous diva, but she remained a sober, down to earth "without airs" character with a healthy common sense of humour. She did not care about of what others said about her imago. She just did what she felt she had to do.
On 23 Augustus 1952 she married Jacob "Jaap" Deutekom, a member of the Dutch opera choir and a talented boxer. They got a daughter, Irma Deutekom, in 1955. After her heart disease Jaap tenderly cared for her and dressed her like a Diva, but she always stayed the "plain to earth" Labour working class girl she was born as, without being hampered by any conscious "noblesse oblige" allures.
On Saturday 2 Augustus 2014 she made an unlucky fall, got and stayed into coma and died "officially" on Thursday 7 Augustus in the intensive care unit of the VU hospital in Amsterdam.