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'Acclaimed soprano to perform spellbinding song cycle with NZSO'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Renowned soprano Emma Pearson is to tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, performing in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch in October.

The Australian-born singer, who made her professional operatic debut with New Zealand Opera, will perform Richard Strauss’ elegiac song cycle Four Last Songs.

"As a young singer in Wiesbaden, Germany, I saw how this beautiful, deceptively hard piece, functions as a rite of passage for soprani," says Pearson.

"It requires a deep understanding of Strauss’ vision, and also life experience, to bring the necessary gravitas and connection to the text, while still letting the voice soar as high as the great Elisabeth Schumann’s would have done. "Now in the 16th year of my career, I have spent 10 of those years performing Strauss’ operas all over the world, so I’m very grateful that NZSO is entrusting me to bring his music and the exquisite poetry of Hermann Hesse and Josef von Eichendorff to life, with Maestro Hamish McKeich at the helm."

Pearson’s extraordinary career has included principal artist at Germany’s prestigious Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden from 2005 to 2014, where she performed more than 30 roles for the company. On her departure, the State of Hessen awarded Pearson the honorary title of "Kammersängerin". She is the youngest opera singer to have ever received the German honour for a distinguished singer of classical music and opera.

Pearson regularly works with opera companies and orchestras in Australasia, Europe and America, including the roles of the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), and Sophie in the Limelight Award-winning production of Der Rosenkavalier for Opera Australia, as well as Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. For Southern Opera New Zealand, she has sung Queen of the Night, and for New Zealand Opera, Susanna, opposite her husband, Wade Kernot, as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Gilda in Rigoletto and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.

The NZSO concerts Monumental in Association with Ryman Healthcare in Wellington and Auckland, and Metamorphosis in Association with Ryman Healthcare in Dunedin and Christchurch, open with Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen, which has been interpreted as a lament to the destruction of Germany in the Second World War. For Monumental, the powerhouse finale will be Tchaikovsky’s timeless Symphony No. 5. A work which baffled audiences on its premiere, and since won a place in every concert-goer’s heart for its colourful orchestration, emotional qualities, and brooding, soul-stirring melodies.

For Metamorphosis, the NZSO will perform Beethoven’s revolutionary Symphony No. 3 Eroica, which changed perceptions of what could be achieved with the symphony. Its inclusion is part of the Orchestra’s celebration in 2020 of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Tickets to Monumental in Wellington and Auckland, and Metamorphosis in Dunedin, are available via ticketmaster.co.nz. Tickets to Metamorphosis in Christchurch are available via ticketek.co.nz.

The Wellington concert will be live-streamed at live.nzso.co.nz

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