Eglise Gutiérrez , soprano
Eglise Gutiérrez is a Cuban-American coloratura soprano. She studied voice in Cuba, in Miami with Manny Perez, and at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in 2004.
In 2004 she won the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition. She has also won the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition and the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists. She made her European debut in October 2005 in the title role of Maria di Rohan at Wexford Festival Opera. On 7 September 2009, she made her house debut at London's Royal Opera House in the title role of Linda di Chamounix (recorded by Opera Rara and released in 2010). In 2011, she appeared as Amina in La sonnambula at the Royal Opera House.
Linda di Chamounix: The Royal Opera
The title role was taken by the Cuban-born soprano, Eglise Gutierrez. Here The Royal Opera have found a soprano with enormous potential. we have just heard a young soprano who will one day be judged not by her contemporaries, but by the great divas of the past. This is serious kudos for the Royal Opera, who very wisely have snapped her up for several roles in the next few years, including Amina in La sonnambula.
Ms Gutierrez, who wore the most glamorous dress imaginable, is with the greatest of respect, a throwback to a type of Prima Donna which is now all but extinct. Her voice takes some describing, but as an attempt I would say that her middle register is dark and treacly, giving the impression that she is a rich voiced lyric soprano, but the top is entirely different in timbre. No coloratura was too difficult for this young singer. Her entrance in Act I is the celebrated: ?Ah! tardai troppo?O luce di quest? anima?, which is a cruel test for any soprano. This aria was originally composed for the great Fanny Tacchinardi-Persiani, who no doubt sang with more head voice and less vibrato than Ms Gutierrez. The audience was spell bound as she trilled ever higher and higher, with that luminescent silvery top glittering away, prodigiously so. In fact, the top of her voice reminded me of Galli-Curci. The other aspect of her performance which I considered very unusual indeed, especially when compared to some of today's endemic, bland, conveyor-belt timbres, is the way in which she is able to colour the voice. There is of course some work needed on getting the dynamics just right, as at times she could sound too reticent, whilst at others she would throw the voice out at a volume, which was quite surprising. There were also one or two high notes which lacked sufficient body, but I suspect this was down to nerves, as many were extraordinary, especially the high F with which she capped the finale. The highlight of the evening was however, her handling of the mad scene: ?No! non ? ver mentirono?. Unlike the mad scene in Lucia and some of her more celebrated sisters in composition, this solo is not principally a tour de force opportunity for vocal exhibition, but is instead, thoroughly integrated into the drama.