Artist Profile: Cristina Deutekom, The Netherlands’ Soprano

By David Salazar

There aren’t all that many famous Dutch opera singers around the world. But Cristina Deutekom was undeniably one of the finest to come from the Netherlands.

Born on August 28, 1931, in Amsterdam, she would get her first shot at an opera career in the role of the Queen of the Night at the Netherlands Opera in 1963. But it didn’t really push her career in the right direction and she almost gave up singing. However, with the help of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, she was able to get her career up and running. By 1974, she had already performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera.

She would enjoy a fruitful career until 1986 when she decided to retire after suffering heart problems. After a comeback 1996, she would go on to teach until she retired from public life in 2004.

She passed away in 2014 after a fall in her house. Throughout her career, she earned such distinctions as Singer of the Year, Milan (1973 and 1974) and Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau, among many others.

Signature Roles 

The New York Times called her “The greatest Queen of the Night of our time.” It was the role that basically launched her international career and opened the door at many of the greatest opera houses around the world.

Later in her career, she would go on to sing heavier Verdi roles as well, particularly in his early operas.

 Watch and Listen

Here she is singing her signature role in Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte.”

Here she is in Verdi’s “Alzira.”


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