La Sonnambula: Wake up to a great soprano
Friday 04 November 2011
When Eglise Gutiérrez left her native Cuba to study singing in the US, her college assigned her her first role. It was Amina, heroine of Bellini's La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) – an enormously demanding bel canto lead. She virtually sleepwalked into it, having no idea what a challenge lay ahead. "Sometimes you are so naive and you don't realise," she laughs.
This week she is Amina again, this time at the Royal Opera House. It's an auspicious moment for a thrilling young soprano whose warm, supremely flexible voice has drawn comparisons with Joan Sutherland.
Gutiérrez started singing by accident. "I learned classical guitar as a teenager, and I liked rock and jazz, but I had no interest in opera," she says. "One day I was singing in the street, making fun of something, and my friend said to me, 'Oh my God, you've got an amazing voice – you have to sing opera'. I thought she was joking. Then, when I was about 17, I heard a CD of Maria Callas. I fell totally in love with opera because of her."
La Sonnambula remains a challenge, but is now a favourite too: "It's truly from the heart, really touching."
'La Sonnambula', Royal Opera House, London WC2 (020 7304 4000; www.roh.org.uk) to 18 November
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins Mark Wright, Pixie Lott and Judy Murray in line-up
Doctor Who, Into the Dalek, TV review: Classic sci-fi adventure has blockbuster spectacle
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Al Pacino's The Humbling and Manglehorn, film reviews
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward