Eva-Maria Westbroek

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Eva-Maria Westbroek at TEDxTheHague

Eva-Maria Westbroek (born 26 April 1970, Belfast) is a Dutch soprano. She is one of three daughters of the geology researcher and professor Peter Westbroek.

Westbroek studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague from 1988 to 1995. Her vocal teachers included Iris Adami Corradetti and the American tenor James McCray. She made her operatic debut at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1994 as Mère Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. She was a prize winner at an international competition in Rome, which allowed her to sing the role of Tosca at age 25. She also was a laureate at the Angelica Catalani Concours and the Santa Maria Ligure Concours. A subsequent slow spell in her career followed, during which time her mother died.[1] Westbroek also worked as a singing waitress during that period.[2]

In 2001, Westbroek secured a 5-year contract as a company member of the Staatsoper Stuttgart.[1] Her roles in Stuttgart included Carlotta (Schreker, Die Gezeichneten), Tosca, Emilia Marty (Janáček, Věc Makropulos, Desdemona (Verdi, Otello), Donna Anna (Mozart, Don Giovanni), Giulietta (Offenbach, Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Marie (Smetana, The Bartered Bride) and The Duchess of Parma (Busoni, Doktor Faust). In 2006, at the end of her work in Stuttgart, she was given the title of Kammersängerin der Staatsoper Stuttgart.

In 2003, Westbroek debuted at the Salzburger Festspiele as Agave in a concert performance of Egon Wellesz' Die Bakchantinnen. In 2004, she debuted at the Opéra Bastille as Madame Lidoine in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. Her debut at De Nederlandse Opera was as Katerina Izmailova in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. This performance was commercially recorded for DVD release, and Westbroek won first prize from the Dutch VSCD Classical Music in the category "most impressive individual artistic achievement" for this performance. She repeated this role in her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London in October 2006.[3] In 2008, she won the Grand Prix Antoine Livio of the Presse Musicale Internationale.

In her first world premiere production,[4] Westbroek created the role of Anna Nicole Smith in the February 2011 Royal Opera premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera Anna Nicole at Covent Garden.[5]

Westbroek made her Metropolitan Opera debut on April 22, 2011 singing the role of Sieglinde in the premiere of a new production of Wagner's "Die Walküre" directed by Robert Lepage. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw mid-performance after the first act due to illness. Mezzo-soprano Margaret Jane Wray stepped in to complete the evening's performance.[6] Ms. Westbroek finally sang the entire opera the following week on April 25, 2011.

Westbroek's commercial recordings include Bohuslav Martinů's Julietta, in the title role, for VMS Music Treasures, and two recorded productions of Wagner's Die Walküre as Sieglinde, on DVD[7] and on CD.[8] She is also featured in a DVD recording (Opus Arte) of Puccini's La fanciulla del West as Minnie, her own acknowledged favourite role.[1]

Westbroek is married to tenor Frank van Aken. She does charity work for the organisation Musicians Without Borders.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rupert Christiansen (2010-12-08). "Eva-Maria Westbroek: The enthralling soprano". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  2. ^ Neil Fisher (2008-09-12). "Eva-Maria Westbroek: from waitress to Covent Garden". The Times. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  3. ^ Erica Jeal (2006-10-03). "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Royal Opera House, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  4. ^ Michael White (2011-02-11). "A Tabloid Star Is Joining the Sisterhood of the Fallen". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  5. ^ Anthony Tommasini (2011-02-17). "Va-Va-Voom Goes the Soprano". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  6. ^ >Anthony Tommasini (2011-04-25). "A ‘Walküre’ Still Obsessed With Its Big, Expensive Toy". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Tim Ashley (2008-12-12). "Wagner: Die Walküre; Johansson/Westbroek/Paasikivi/Gambill/White/Petrenko/Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  8. ^ "Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen: Watson/Gould/Dohmen/Shore/Bayreuther Festspiel/Thielemann". The Guardian. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 

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