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’ will be released in May 2016 showcasing her operatic roles from Purcell to Puccini and newly arranged art songs by Faure, Hahn and Tosti.
Pumeza Matshikiza opened the 15/16 season singing solo concerts in Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Krakow. In October she made her debut with Sir Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, singing the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Bread, Water and Salt, based on the famous speech by Nelson Mandela. These opening concerts of the Santa Cecilia season were broadcast live by RAI and she will reprise this new work as part of Radio France’s Festival Présence in February 2016, Mikko Franck conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. On the operatic stage Pumeza sings Mimì (La Bohème) and as well as making her role debut as Micaёla (Carmen), both at the Staatsoper Stuttgart where she has been a leading ensemble member for the past three seasons. Her roles in Stuttgart have included Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Ännchen (Der Freischütz), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).
Pumeza’s second album ARIAS is a collection of many of the great opera roles in which Pumeza has blossomed: Mimì in La Boheme; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro; Liù in Turandot; Dido in Dido & Aeneas; Concepcion in L’heure espagnole together with such operatic greatest hits as ‘The Song to the Moon’ from Rusalka and ‘Ebben, ne andro lontano’ from La Wally.
The album also features new arrangements of art songs such as Faure’s ‘Après un rêve’ and Reynaldo Hahn’s A Chloris as well as a Rosa Ponselle favourite, Tosti’s ‘Si tu le voulais’
Also included are arrangements of Sarti’s famous aria ‘Lungi del caro bene’ made by DECCA for Renata Tebaldi in the 1970s and recorded here for the first time since then and an arrangement of the classic song ‘La Paloma’ originally made for Victoria de los Angeles.