Eva-Maria Westbroek’s Sieglinde is a woman transformed by love. When she sings of spring’s arrival in the form of Siegmund after the long winter of her unhappy marriage, you can almost see the warm blood coursing through her veins, bringing her back to life. The joyful abandon of her phrasing, the keen intelligence and inner life she brings to this sad, wronged woman is bliss itself.
Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek in the Metropolitan Opera’s Die Walküre. Photo © Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Although the Dutch soprano will only be singing the first act of Wagner’s Die Walkürein concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, audiences will still experience the sheer artistry and attention to dramatic detail Westbroek brings to all her leading ladies. But it is Sieglinde that she has become closely associated with, a role she’s sung to acclaim in the world’s greatest houses and most memorably opposite the Siegmund of Jonas Kaufmann at the Metropolitan Opera in 2011.
“Her whole story is just so interesting,” Westbroek says over the phone. “From this suppressed person who’s very scared, it’s through love that she gets the strength to get out of her situation. She’s so...