Nous publions ici, consécutivement à la remise du prix Antoine Livio pour l'année 2008, les témoignages des plus proches collaborateurs d'Eva Maria Westbroeck.
>Antonio Pappano, chef d'orchestre
An irresistible combination of warmth, natural charisma and total commitment to what she is doing makes Eva-Maria Westbroek one of a rare breed of artist transfixing audiences all over the world. Whether in Shostkovich, Puccini or Wagner, Eva is the real thing.
>Gérard Mortier, directeur de l'Opéra de Paris
J'ai découvert Eva-Maria Westbroek quand j'étais à la tête du Festival de Salzburg. Elle était alors la doublure de Deborah Polaski pour le rôle de Cassandre dans Les Troyens de Berlioz. J'ai très vite compris qu'elle serait un jour une de mes stars et elle l'est devenue. Je l'ai aussitôt engagée : pour Chrysothemis d'Elektra et pour l'Impératrice de La Femme sans Ombre de Richard Strauss, pour Elisabeth de Tannhäuser de Richard Wagner, pour madame Lidoine dans Dialogues des Carmélites de Francis Poulenc. J'aime en elle ce caractère de bosseuse propre aux plats pays dont elle est issue, ces pays où il faut labourer pour arriver. J'aime sa sensualité généreuse qui me fait penser à Saskia, le modèle de Rembrandt. J'aime sa voix qui réussit à rester égale dans tous les registres, aussi bien ceux des rôles « jugendlich dramatisch » allemands que ceux que Verdi composa pour son égérie Teresa Stolz. A Madrid, j'espère pouvoir lui confier, entre autres personnages, l'ensemble des grands rôles verdiens.
>Peter Mario Katona, directeur du casting du Royal Opera de Covent Garden
Over a period of just a few years Eva-Maria Westbroek has established herself as the leading soprano in a wide-reaching area of the operatic repertory. At the Royal Opera House alone she has sung roles as diverse as Sieglinde, Minnie and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, whilst elsewhere I have admired her as Jenufa, Chrysothemis and the Empress in Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Her generous delivery, wonderful vocal resources and energetic, youthful portrayals are extraordinary. Furthermore, her interest in fully exploring the many different characters in her repertoire and her enthusiasm and appetite for hard work are exemplary. She is one of those very special singers who is not simply concerned with the advancement of her own career but who strives to contribute to the artform at its highest level; an artist who seeks genuine collaboration with conductor and producer, however challenging their demands, whilst at the same time aspiring always to work as a team. In short, Miss Westbroek is a shining example of a truly great singer and performer. We are certainly looking forward to many more wonderful projects with her at the Royal Opera House and meanwhile remain proud and honoured that she has chosen to spend so much of her time working in this theatre.
Prof. Klaus Zehelein, directeur de l'Opéra de Stuttgart de 1991 à 2006
président de l'académie de théâtre bavaroise August Everding
Eva-Maria Westbroek's first appearance in Stuttgart was in 1999 with Gerhilde in Die Walküre, followed in 2000 by Gutrune in Götterdämmerung. She sang this part as a truly loving girl, shy at first, and full of furor when she finds Siegfried dead. When I saw how Eva-Maria gave this character an authentic profile with a unique vocal and stage presence, I was looking forward to the coming years with her as a member of our ensemble. She used these five years to develop new roles to add to her repertoire, and she proved to be one of the pillars of the ensemble. She was cast for the unfathomable characters of women with ambivalent feelings, like Carlotta in Schreker's Die Gezeichneten, or Emilia Marty in Janacek's Vec Makropulos, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, or Marie in Smetana's Die verkaufte Braut. She also sang Tosca, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the Duchess of Parma in Busoni's Doktor Faust and Giulietta in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Every one of these roles she took on as a challenging exploration into the depths of the individual characters with all their idiosyncrasies. One of her strengths is to consider such characters not as isolated entities, but as interrelated. This attitude also gives strength to her colleagues and creates an atmosphere of mutual anticipation on stage. She is a team player and has the ability to carry others with her. She is jolly, passionate, hard-working, dependable, caring, responsibly minded, and an asset to any production. She is an exceptional artist, gifted with a great voice, a sharp intellect, lots of wit, and a big heart.
And last but not least she is an excellent volunteer worker: It was her own initiative together with other singers of the ensemble to approach me to ask whether they could go to old age homes in Stuttgart to present a program of Lieder, arias, duets and ensemble pieces as a contribution for those who could no longer come to the opera house. It makes me happy and proud that she was voted by the jury of the Presse Musicale Internationale as the recipient of the Grand Prix Antoine Livio 2008. As the president of the Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding in the Munich Prinzregententheater I am also responsible for the education of young opera singers, preparing them for their future careers. Eva-Maria Westbroek embodies the artistic will, vision and personality that I wish our young singers at the academy to strive for.