Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, born on April 26, 1970, is one of the great singing actresses of the 21st century opera world.
Westbroek studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague between 1988 and 1995 eventually making her professional debut at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1994. While she won some awards in her 20s, she made her major international breakthrough in 2001 when she signed a five-year contract at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, where she sang a wide range of leading roles. From there, her career only blossomed with appearances at Salzburg, the Royal Opera House in London, eventually, in 2011, the Metropolitan Opera where she appeared in a new production of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”
From there, she has firmly established herself as a dramatic soprano with a potent acting presence.
There isn’t one role that has defined Westbroek’s career as her repertoire is incredibly expansive. But there are a few roles that have undoubtedly become linked with her.
First among these is “Anna Nicole,” which she interpreted in its world premiere production in London. The Dutch soprano earned massive raves for her work in the role and it essentially launched her career to the next level.
Another role that has become her own is that of “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk,” which she has sung numerous times around the world. While other singers have taken on the opera in the modern era, Westbroek has dominated it in the 21st century. It was another role that launched her to international repute after she won the Dutch VSCD Classical Music in the category “most impressive individual artistic achievement.”
Finally, she has become one of the ardent interpreters of “La Fanciulla del West,” becoming the go-to Minnie of her time. She has also stated that it is her personal favorite role.
“If you want to know who I’m most like off stage, it’s probably Minnie. She’s my favorite, anyway,” she stated in an interview with The Telegraph.
Watch and Listen
Check out Westbroek’s incredible interpretation of “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” that won her a major accolade.