In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine at their Glyndebourne home, soprano Danielle de Niese and her husband Gus Christie have introduced their new baby daughter, Sheherazade.
In the interview, Danielle and Gus, executive chairman of Glyndebourne, reveal how the baby, born on November 13, arrived wrapped in a bubble. "It was a big, dramatic entrance," Danielle told HELLO! "She came out intact in the amniotic sac."
"It's very rare – only one in 80,000 babies are born like this," adds Gus. "It's part of her enigma. We had to do lots of Googling as there's so much superstition around it. It's supposed to bring good luck."
The couple introduce their baby daughter Sheherazade
Sheherazade, named after the Persian queen from One Thousand and One Nights, is the couple's second child together; they already have five-year-old son Bacchus while Gus has four sons from a previous marriage.
And the new arrival is the first girl in 54 years to be born at Glyndebourne, Gus's family home where the annual summer festival of opera music is held and where both he and his sister were born.
"I always thought it would be lovely to have a girl, but Gus kept saying: 'I make boys, so don't get your hopes up,'" Danielle tells HELLO! "It was overwhelming to find out she was a girl."
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In the interview, Danielle also reveals how the baby was born rather quickly, just one hour after they arrived at the Princess Royal hospital in Haywards Heath. "I couldn't deliver the baby without looking at Gus – I needed to look at him," says Danni, who pushed the baby out in four minutes. "I was shaking and trembling from adrenaline, which I wasn't expecting. I think my body was in some sort of shock."
The pregnancy, she says, came at a good time as she was forced to take a break from work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "Professionally it turned out rather well for me as it gave us the unique opportunity to have downtime here, which we never have."
"When you're in a setting like this," she says, gesturing to the room and the gardens outside, "there's not much to complain about."
Read the full interview and see more exclusive photos in the new issue of HELLO! out on Monday 4 January.
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