Christina Cünne

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Christina Cünne was born on November 18, 1932 in Houtigehage, Friesland, Netherlands as Trijntje Kunje De Vries. She is an actress, known for Dutch productions as “De Anna” (1983), “Rooie Sien” (1975) and “Frank en Eva” (1973).

She is not only an actress, she sings, has a great voice, and she also performed Theodorakis’ music. Though I am Dutch, I never heard (of) her, till some weeks ago, when I found the video serial: “Christina Cünne, Songs from Zatouna” Even then I did not realise she is Dutch. The name “Christina Cünne” though, does not sound Dutch, is not Dutch, so it is not strange. It is, as written, her stage name.

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The voice was (is) impressive, and I kept searching for the videos. To listen. Then I decided to search for more information and found first of all a website that started with the info where I opened this post with. This website: “Celebrities Galore“, was the beginning of finding more. Also photos. Because nowhere I could find a photo. Somewhere I found her husband’s name: Loet Steenbergen, by using her own name: De Vries. The combination of both names brought me to this photo, published in “Fryske Ikonografy“: it shows Christina Cünne and her husband Loet Steenbergen.

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Christina Cünne – Beeldbank Haags Gemeentearchief – 19 oktober 1967             PhotoLoet Steenbergen tries to offer the LP with the Mauthausen songs, sung by his wife, Christina Cünne, to the Greek ambassador. However, the ambassador was not present. Mr. Steenbergen at the door of the embassy:

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Christina Cünne – Nieuwe Leidsche Courant: Historische kranten – 19 oktober 1969 (Historical Newspapers)
Click here to watch. Search for the header: “Liederen van Theodorakis” (Songs of Theodorakis)

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Christina Cünne – Nieuwe Leidsche Courant – 4 maart 1967
Click here to watch. Search for the header: “Christina Cünne maakt “Hollands” TV-debuut” (Christina Cünne makes “Dutch” TV debut) I took a screenshot of the photo and edited it in my own way:

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Christina Cünne, opera singer

In the article of “De Nieuwe Leidsche Courant” she tells some details about her life that are explaining her extraordinary voice quality in the videos with the “Songs from Zatouna”. It is strange that the IMDb website only mentions her capacities as an actress and not anything about her enormous talent as an opera singer: she studied at the conservatory, and already before finishing her studies it was clear that opera was the place to be, after a time of singing in the operette. In her last year at the conservatory (1963) she already performed opera concerts together with the Italian baritone Gaetano Bardini. She earned a scholarship with it, that offered her the possibility to continue her studies in Livorno, where Professor Lattes was one of her teachers. In 1964 she earned a private scholarship for studying at Ilse Rapf,  in Vienna, Austria. Louis Starka became her impresario and it might be because of him that she got the role of “Santuzza” in “Cavalleria Rusticana“, in 1967, in Innsbruck.

Unfortunately I did not find more articles about her. Her husband, Loet Steenbergen, passed away in the year 2000. On 18 November 2015 she will reach the age of 83.

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Playlist with more videos, with “Christina Cünne sings Theodorakis”                   Playlist with songs from Zatouna, Mauthausen, Enas Omiros (the Hostage) (Brendan Behan), songs of resistance and Bouboulinas Prison. One of them:

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Sources and additional information

ChristinaCünneTheodorakis

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About "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis"

The blog "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis" started in 2010. The not-for-profit activities of the initiator were and are to collect, create and publish information about the MUSIC of the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis via YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and this blog. Sources for this information are utterly strictly related with Mikis Theodorakis' Music only. The icon is a bouzouki. It is Greece's national symbol for freedom. During the Regime of the Colonels (Military Junta, 1967-1974) the bouzouki was forbidden. Mikis Theodorakis used this authentic Greek instrument in almost all his compositions, and Greeks were listening to Theodorakis's music in the underground scene, during the Military Junta time.
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