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.
Pumeza Matshikiza kicked off the 14/15 season singing Mimì (La Bohème) at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, followed by an European concert tour with tenor Rolando Villazón that took her to Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Gasteig Munich, Kuppelsaal Hanover, Tonhalle Düsseldorf and Helsinki. Pumeza Matshikiza also makes her debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and her house debut at Teatro alla Scala in Milan singing Eve in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s CO2.
Recent engagements include her role debut as Mimì in a new production of La Bohème for Stuttgart State Opera, where the soprano has been member of the ensemble for the past three seasons; 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; and an appearance at the BBC Proms in the Park. Recent roles in Stuttgart also include 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.