One of today's most exciting new operatic voices

The Independent

South African lyric soprano Pumeza Matshikiza is one of today’s rising opera stars. An exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, her debut album ‘Voice of Hope’ was released in 2014. Her second album ‘Arias’ was released in May 2016.

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Described as “one of today’s most exciting new operatic voices” (Independent), South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza is one of today’s rising opera stars. An exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, her debut album “Voice of Hope” was released in 2014. Her second album “Arias” with arias by Puccini, Catalani, Ravel and Mozart and songs by Fauré was released in May 2016.

Pumeza Matshikiza kicks off the 17/18 season with recitals in Rio de Janeiro and will then return to Europe to debut at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème under the baton of Albert Horne. On the concert stage the South African soprano can be heard in solo concerts with the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen under the baton of Johannes Klumpp and in a recital in Strasbourg at the Opéra national du Rhin, accompanied by her frequent musical partner, pianist Paul Montag, performing arias and South African songs.

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In the 16/17 season Pumeza Matshikiza sang solo concerts in her home town Cape Town and in Budapest as part of the Budapest Spring Festival. On the operatic stage, Pumeza Matshikiza returned to the Staatsoper Stuttgart as Micaёla (Carmen), after celebrating her highly anticipated role debut at the same house in early 2016. She finished her season sharing the stage with tenor Rolando Villazon under the baton of Duncan Ward, giving an open air concert at Schloss Salem in July 2016 in front of almost 2000 viewers.

Recent engagements include her debuts as Eve in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s CO2 at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, singing the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Bread, Water and Salt, based on the famous speech by Nelson Mandela; Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the English Concert Orchestra at the Bristol Old Vic as part of the Bristol Proms series; two concerts with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra in Denmark; an appearance at the BBC Proms in the Park and a concert tour with Rolando Villazón that took her to Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Gasteig Munich, Kuppelsaal Hanover, Tonhalle Düsseldorf and Helsinki. As a five-year esemble member of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, her roles included Micaёla (Carmen), Mimì (La Bohème), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Ännchen (Der Freischütz), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).

Pumeza Matshikiza studied at the University of Cape Town College of Music and the Royal College of Music with a full scholarship. Roles at the RCM included Marenka (The Bartered Bride), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Concepcion (L’heure espagnole), Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro). The young soprano also participated in masterclasses with renowned artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Thomas Allen, Renata Scotto, Joan Rogers, Paul Farrington, Philip Langridge and Ileana Cotrubas. She has worked with accompanists Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake and Simon Lepper.

Pumeza Matshikiza was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme at the Royal Opera House from 2007-2009 and could be heard as Blumenmädchen in Wagner’s Parsifal, Slave in Strauss’ Salome, Innocent (The Minotaur), Witch in Dido and Aeneas, Sandmann (Hänsel und Gretel) and Tebaldo in Verdi’s Don Carlo, conducted by Antonio Pappano. In January, 2010 Pumeza Matshikiza was awarded with the 1st Prize in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and became an Associate Artist of the Classical Opera Company, singing the title role in Mozart’s Zaide for which she was awarded with the Patrick Fyffe-Dame Hilda Brackett Prize.

Last updated: November 2017

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Calendar

Puccini: La bohème

December 1, 6, 9, 22, 26, 2017

Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden

Wiesbaden

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Recordings

Pumeza Matshikiza

Arias

Pumeza's second Decca release showcases her operatic roles from Purcell to Puccini and newly arranged songs by Faure, Hahn & Tosti.

Pumeza

VOICE OF HOPE

This is Pumeza's first Decca album release, highlighting arias by Puccini and Mozart as well as traditional South African songs.

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Press

I think I've found the new Maria Callas . . . What initially arrested me, and went on fascinating me, was not only the beauty of her singing, one of the loveliest lightish lyric sopranos I have heard in the flesh, but also her commitment to the role she was performing.

The Spectator

With her luscious lyric voice and her superb presence and acting she will certainly be a star.

BBC Music Magazine

Her voice is smooth, rich, flexible, her manner open and unaffected, her dramatic instinct keen.

Financial Times

With her remarkable combination of qualities she should be appearing in major roles in all the world's great opera houses.

BBC Music Magazine

Matshikiza sang gorgeously . . . the distinctive beauty of a special voice.

The Sunday Times

Dusky, overtone-rich, abundantly sensuous, the timbre has fullness, freshness and purity alloyed to the darker tones of an almost-Callas like palette.

Opera Magazine

Pumeza's Mimi is lovingly sung, her line to Rodolfo about keeping her pink bonnet as a souvenir of their love a touching moment in her interpretation. Liù's aria is well sustained, with nice portamento . . . There's no mistaking the great care with which these performances have been prepared, and the technique is all there. ('Voice of Hope' review)

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