From Turandot to Wagner, the Roles Eva Marton & Iréne Theorin Share

By David Salazar

Eva Marton and Iréne Theorin. Two sopranos with gargantuan voices from different eras born on the same day. For Marton, it was June 18, 1943 while Theorin was born exactly 20 years later.

Two sopranos with huge voices like these two women are bound to share some repertoire and the truth is that they have. Here is a look at the repertoire that both women have shared throughout their respective careers.


Any conversation featuring these two women has to include the famed Puccini character. Theorin has been one of the main interpreters of the role over the last decade or so and even showcased her talents at the Metropolitan Opera in this behemoth of a character, which represents six of her nine appearances at the house. Marton, of course, owned the role in the late 1980s and made a famous recording with Plácido Domingo that remains on home video release. She performed it over 100 times at such houses as  Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Arena di Verona, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Barcelona, and Houston Grand Opera. She also recorded it twice.


Both singers have taken on the great Puccini heroine, though Marton is perhaps more recognized for the role than Theorin. Marton not only performed it hundreds of times in her career, but she infamously dislocated her jaw during one performance of the opera at the Metropolitan Opera when she and baritone Juan Pons got into a melee during the second act confrontation.

Wagner Operas

Both Marton and Theorin have taken on the lighter Wagner roles, including Elizabeth in “Tannhäuser,” Eva in “Die Meistersingers” and “Elsa in “Lohengrin,” and then went on to conquer the Ring as Brünhilde. Theorin’s interpretation is part of the Copenhagen Ring while Marton performed a complete cycle in 1996 with Zubin Mehta. They have also performed Isolde in “Tristan und Isolde.”


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