The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
Dutch coloratura soprano Cristina Deutekom was born Christine Engel in Amsterdam on 28 August 1931. After singing various small roles, her major breakthrough came in 1963, when she sang Queen of Night in Mozart's Magic Flute at Dutch National Opera, continuing to sing the same role at all the major European opera houses and at New York Metropolitan Opera in 1968.
In 1974, appearing with Plácido Domingo, she sang Elena in I vespri siciliani, and also sang other dramatic Verdi roles, including Abigaile (Nabucco), Lady Macbeth, Leonora in Il trovatore and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera.
Ending her stage career in 1986 after suffering heart problems, she turned to teaching and giving masterclasses, and from 2001 was a guest teacher at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
She had a stroke in 2004, retiring from public life, and died on 7 August 2014, aged eighty-two, following a fall at home.