Australia’s most highly awarded soprano, Emma Matthews, is a regular guest with Opera Australia, state opera companies, symphony orchestras and major festivals. Here’s a few snippets she shared with us in the lead up to ANAM’s Simone Young and Brahms Gala Concert in September where she will be performing a selection of songs by Henri Duparc with the ANAM Orchestra.

On working with Simone Young…
“My first show with Simone was the Tales of Hoffmann, I was the doll.. I had to audition for the role, as Simone was uncertain.. So I added A flats!! Then came The Masked Ball, I was Oscar.. It was quite a daunting experience working with both Simone and Lisa Gasteen in the same show, next came Der Rosenkavalier, that was my first German opera, Sophie was such a beautiful role to sing…then Lulu… Lulu was the last Opera we shared. It was an incredible experience. The partnership of Simone and Simon Phillips was so inspiring. I’m so grateful to Simone for trusting me with such a role.”

On Henri Duparc…
“Poor Henri Duparc gave up composing in his mid-30s, not because he wasn’t any good at it, but because of his highly-strung nervous disposition, a condition diagnosed at the time as neurasthenia.  But the songs he left are superb. He loves conjuring voluptuous, sensuous scenes.”

On performing at the ANAM Gala Concert…
“I’ve sung all of these songs before.. I have a favourite recording of Rosamund Illing and David McSkimming, that I bought as a young artist… I’ve been in love with these songs ever since. I’ve only sung Chanson Triste with orchestra before, you need a great harpist to make it work. Personally I prefer the piano accompaniments… There is such a vulnerability in the sparseness. That said, I’m looking forward to delving into the orchestral writing, and to rediscovering these beautiful songs with the fabulous ANAM and my friend Simone Young at the helm.”

FRI 18 SEPTEMBER 7.30PM at Melbourne Recital Centre

STANHOPE Fantasia on a theme of Vaughan Williams
DUPARC L’invitation au voyage
DUPARC Chanson triste
DUPARC Le Manoir de Rosemonde
DUPARC Aux étoiles (Poème nocturne)
DUPARC La vie antérieure 
BRAHMS Symphony no. 2 in D major, op. 73

Emma Matthews soprano
Simone Young conductor
ANAM Orchestra

For more information or to buy tickets visit anam.com.au


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