The Netherlands have known some excellent opera sopranos starting with Rosa de Vries, Cato Engelen-Sewing, Elisabeth Ohms, Erna Spoorenberg, Gery de Groot, Maria van Dongen and  Marijke van der Lugt. But the most well-known names are of course Gré Brouwenstijn, Cristina Deutekom, Charlotte Margiono and nowadays Eva-Maria Westbroek.
This issue of operanostalgia is especially devoted to Cristina Deutekom and the singing competition named after her which celebrated its tenth edition this year.
To pay homage to the celebrated soprano the foundation issued a two Cd and one DVD set which can be ordered for a mere 15 euros. All recordings are new and previously unreleased on CD. None of them are commercial recordings but all of them are taken from radio broadcasts of live concerts, the first recordings going back to 1966. Recordings include arias and duets from Norma, Turandot, Otello, Macbeth, Entfuhrung, Vespri, Rigoletto, Attila, Ernani, Trovatore, Lucia, Cavalleria and the inevitable Queen of the Nights arias. The DVD is mainly interesting for Dutch speakers as lots of the –nonetheless wonderful -material is taken from TV interviews and portraits from Dutch television. Strange too that the producers didn’t opt for complete concerts instead of excerpts only. Only 2 pieces can be listened to in its entirety, one a song about Amsterdam and the Viljasong (1967!).  There’s a booklet (with photographs) included but in Dutch only as if foreigners wouldn’t be interested in this release. Bad thinking and bad PR. But let these remarks not refrain you from getting the release as it may soon not be available anymore, especially at its very economical price.
Two books have been released on the singer and may still be available through ebay or second-hand bookshops. Both are in Dutch but the first book ‘La Deutekom’ (released in 1979) includes several pictures and a discography. The second one (1988) includes several beautiful photographs as well but no discography or chronology.

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“MY CAREER” a selective chronology and discography (all additions are welcomed)

1931, 28 August : born in Amsterdam as Christine Engel.
Post-war: she sang with her brother in a cabaret group with Deutekom singing the post-war ‘schlagers’ with her then favorite ‘Sentimental journey’. Her favourite singers were Mario Lanza ‘who made a girl’s heart beat faster’, Richard Tauber ‘a royal lady-killer’, Richard Crooks and Luis Mariano.
Starts singing in choruses and takes up singing lessons with Johan Thomas, conductor of an opera chorus in which her parents sang
1948 , summer, she met Jacob Deutekom –a boxer-  her future husband. “We celebrated our silver wedding on the 23rd August 1977. In honour, virtue and fidelity as old-fashioned people’
1954 birth of her only daughter Irma Deutekom
Takes up studies at the Amsterdam conservatory with Coby Riebersma and coaching with Felix Hupka
1960-1964 : seven roles with the Thalia operetta company with  Laura in Der Bettelstudent as her debut. Studies with the opera class of the Dutch opera foundation (under Johannes den Hertog)
1962 : first TV appearances in a scene from The Consul and Der Schauspieldirektor + debut at the Dutch opera as Queen of the night.
1963 : TV appearance, sings Tatiana’s letter scene

                               deutekom5    As Tatiana
1963 : - September, Amsterdam : Die Walkuere (Ortlinde)
-Also Quattro rusteghi: Dutch opera, Mattheus Passion in Zwolle an experience ‘she would really like to forget’
Tough period follows with the liquidation of the Dutch opera, she participates in a few singing competitions without any real success. During the Geneva competition her mother died and in ‘s Hertogenbosch she didn’t even make it to the pre-selections.
Radio concert (KRO) singing Vissi d’arte and Agathe’s aria
1964 : - February 27, Amsterdam : Don Carlos (voce dal cielo)
           -December 17, Amsterdam : Zauberflote
1965 : November 17, Amsterdam RAI, establishment of a new Dutch opera foundation, Deutekom sang the role of Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier and Queen of the Night. Richard Kraus who conducted the Rosenkavalier brings her to Barcelona in 1966  for the same opera and the same role with Schwarzkopf as the Marschallin.
1966 : Barcelona : Rosenkavalier. Deutekom is heard practising by Schwarzkopf and the rest is history. She auditions for Roberto Bauer and later Bing himself. Her career as “the Queen of the night” takes off with appearances at the Vienna State opera, Munich, Stuttgart, Hannover, Neurenberg, Bern, Bordeaux, Cologne, Frankfurt and Covent Garden
        -Madrid debut as Marianne Leitmetzerin.
        -May 25, Eindhoven, Zauberflote
        -June 17, Amsterdam : Don Carlos (voce dal cielo) Holland Festival production
        -November 11, Scheveningen : Elektra (role of 5 Magd)
1967 : -January 16, Amsterdam RAI, Gotterdammerung (role of Woglinde)
          -28th September) Debut at the Met, in three Met seasons she sang 15 performances including donna Anna and Helen in I vespri Siciliani.
1968 : March 15, Scheveningen, Zauberflote
           -La Fenice, Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi)
           -June 16, Amsterdam RAI, concert (b’cast tape exists)
           -Grand Prix du disque – Charles Croix, Paris 1968 for her first recital disc of Mozart arias under Charles VanderZand.
1969 -January : La Fenice, I Puritani
         -May : La Fenice, Lucia
         - ten concerts in The Netherlands
         - Antwerpen, concert under Daan Sternefeld (live tape exists)
         -Oostende, Casino kursaal, concert (live tape exists)
         - San Francisco, Zauberflote (live tape exists)
         - records her first recital under Carlo Franci (Verdi-Bellini-Donizetti) which was released in a two CD set by philips classics (423 733-2). This set also includes her second recital under Franci recorded a year later. Great irony, the included booklet includes some comments by the once famous Dutch music critic Leo Riemens who was responsible for some very sour and critical reviews of the sopranos records which at the time even led to some polemics in the Dutch record magazines. I can only assume that Mme Deutekom was all but amused when she opened the CD release.
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1970 : 1st January, concert in Emmen, operetta and musical (Maytime, les dragons de Vilars..) (live tape exists)
           -January : Madrid as Costanze with the Saarbrucken opera
           -opening of the seasons in Chicago and Florence
           -Maggio Musicale, Verdi requiem under Muti
           - Maggio Musicale, Puritani under Muti (live tape exists)
           -Armida at La Fenice
           -Bregenz Festival: Norma (live tape exists)
           -concerts in Monte Carlo, San Sebastian
           -I Puritani in Mexico City
           - Naples, Lucia w. Pavarotti (released on CD)
1971 : -February, Vienna : recording of the Solti Zauberflote
           -December, Madrid , I puritani
           -December, Parma:  Norma with Corelli who substituted for the indisposed Piermirando Ferraro (live tape exists, exc. Corelli CD Myto)
           -Rome debut as Fiordiligi under Peter Maag
           -June: Hamburg  Zauberflote in production of Peter Ustinov who sang the role of Papageno
           -July, London, recording of I Lombardi under Gardelli
deutekom8    deutekom9 (1972 recorded)
1971 - Barcelona, Lucia
          -May, Vienna : records a Strauss Waltzes LP under Franz Allers. (released on CD Philips 462075-2)
          - Hollywood Bowl concert (live tape exists)
1971-72 : -Aix, Hollywood, Dallas, Toronto, Buenos Aires, Parma, Trieste, Venice, Rome, Vienna
                -January Florence : Un Ballo w. Tucker under Muti
1972 : -records a promenade concert in Berlin under Jurgen Hermann, including Stolz, Herbert, Kreuder, Bishop, Pestalozza, Gerschwin etc)
           -September, London : Attila, complete recording under Gardelli (CD Philips 426 115-2)
           -Buenos Aires, Puritani (live tape exists)
           -Hartford, Lucia w. Kraus (live tape exists)
1973 : -Maggio Musicale, Mosè in Egitto (Sinaide)
           -Bregenz, Armida (live tape exists)
           -September, Amsterdam La Norma (tenor Redente Comacchio was booed off the stage and replaced by Umberto Borso who gets tomatoes thrown at his head during a performance in Scheveningen)
           -She records a duet recital with Dutch baritone Jan Derksen for EMI under Renato Sabbioni
deutekom10                deutekom11   (1971, Strauss Waltzes)
1973 : concerts in The Netherlands with tenor Vittorio Terranova (live tape exists)
1974 : -Knighted in the Order van Oranje-Nassau
           -26 March, NYC, Carnegie Hall, Alcina  (exc. on CD Gala 100.584)
           -NY, met, I Vespri (live tape exists)
           -NY, Alcina (live tape exists)
           -October 25, Amsterdam, Un Ballo
           -November 17, Amsterdam RAI, Aida, Cavalleria etc. w. Bruno Prevedi (live tape exists)
1975 : -San Francisco, Norma (live tape exists)
           -August 30, Rotterdam, concert w. José Carreras, cond. Roberto Benzi (Released on CD BellaVoce 107.012)
          -September 18 , Scheveningen, Lucia
          -September 26, Amsterdam, stadsschouwburg, concert w. Carreras, cond. Carlo Franci (Released on CD BellaVoce 107.012)
1976 : -August, Bilbao. I Masnadieri (exc. released on CD Gala 334)
           -October, Amsterdam, Trovatore  (CD release on Gala)
           -Frankfurt, Norma (live tape exists)
1977 : -Bilbao, Rigoletto (live tape exists)
           -Split Festival : Nabucco
           -Firenze, Nabucco under Muti (live tape exists)
           -November 23, Scheveningen : Un Ballo (also in Rotterdam, live tape exists)
1978 : -March 11, Geneva, Medea (exc. on CD Gala 100.584)
           -May, Edmonton, Attila (exc. released on CD Gala 334)
           -Autumn, Genova, Bianca e Ferrando
           -Nice, I Puritani (live tape exists)
1979: -San Diego Verdi Festival : I Lombardi w. Bergonzi
          -San Diego, Verdi concert w. Bergonzi (live tape exists)
          -December 7 , Amsterdam, Lucia
          -Verviers, Lucia (live tape exists)
1980 : -June 5, Grand Theatre Geneve, La Clemenza di Tito (exc. on CD Gala 100.584)
           -August 14, Chili, Santiago, teatro Municipal : Trovatore
           -October 11, Vara Matinee, Concertgebouw, Alzira (live tape exists)
           -November 6, Scheveningen : Trovatore
           -Rotterdam, Lucia (live tape exists)
           -Berlin, Trovatore (live tape exists)
1981 -January, Liceu Barcelona, Lucia
         -June 19 Verdi Festival San Diego, Nabucco
         -July 14, Chili, Nabucci
         -November 11, Amsterdam, Un Ballo
         -Hartford, Macbeth (live tape exists)
1982 : -Zurich, I Masnadieri (live tape exists)
           -January, Madrid : Lucia
           -May 16, San Diego, Turandot (exc. on Gala 100.584)
                     deutekom13                     deutekom14
1982 , June 3 , Amsterdam Concertgebouw concert w. Adriaan van Limpt  under Kees Bakels (released on Philips LP and now on CD)
deutekom15 (cover of the Philips LP)     deutekom16 (May 1980 Vienna rec.)
1982   -September 4, Amsterdam, Simone Boccanegra (live tape exists)
           -December, New Orleans, I Lombardi
1983 : -San Diego opera, Henri VIII (role of Catherine of Aragon) (live tape exists)
           -Zurich Grosse Tonhalle: I Masnadieri
1984 : -March 15, Scheveningen, I Puritani
           -April 12, Amsterdam : I Puritani  (live tape exists)
           -October 12, Scheveningen, I Vespri Siciliani (live tape exists)
           -Rotterdam, operetta concert (live tape exists)
1985 : -Rouen, Nabucco (live tape exists)
           -December 29, Scheveningen, Turandot
1986 : -Amsterdam, Turandot (live tape exists)
           -December, Bilbao, Amaya (title role), her final role
1987 : -Establishment of the Cristina Deutekom concours + ending of career due to heart problems
1990 : records a Christmas album in London released by Philips (CD 432 402-2)
1991 : her first public masterclass in The Hague
1996 : November 27, Concertgebouw “Operafeest”, she makes her public singing rentree at age 65 bringing the house down with the Bolero from Ernani and Bella’s aria from Paganini. This concert was released on two CD’s by Vanguard (CD 99127)
1997 : REGINA CD

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2004 : She suffers a stroke which severely impeded her speech, she retires from public life
2009 : final concert of the tenth Deutekom concours

      deutekom20                    deutekom21
This three CD set was released by Reader’s Digest in 2001. It includes several of her recital recordings for the first time on Cd and available nowhere else. Therefore it’s a must for her fans. There’s also a 31 page booklet with several colour pictures. Besides her opera and operetta recitals Deutekom also recorded Beethoven’s ‘Christus am Olberge” for EMI under Volker Wangenheim. She also sang Beethoven’s 9th symphony but didn’t record it.