A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

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josé echenique
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A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Fri May 18, 2012 8:12 am

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Now, here is a find. Australian coloratura soprano Emma Matthews seems to have been around for some time. Her bio says that she made her debut with the Sydney Opera as far back as 1993, but only made her debut with the Royal Opera House in 2010. I discovered her very recently thanks to a just released DVD of Lakmé precisely from the Sydney Opera. Her voice is uncommonly good, with a full, true center and predictable easy top. She is also very musical and has some individuality, a sine qua non requisite for me.
Looking in Amazon for other recordings she might have made I found this recital, and was shocked to see the DG logo. It was crazy expensive: $40.00, but couldn´t resist and ordered it. As it happens it´s not really a DG recording, you won´t find it in their international catalogue, but rather an Australian ABC recording, a down under Universal company. This recital was recorded in 2010 and if anything, is even more impressive than the Lakmé. I can´t understand why DG didn´t gave it an international release.

It includes:

1. Bernstein. Glitter and be gay.
2. Delibes. Bell Song from Lakmé.
3. Flotow. The last rose of summer from Martha.
4. Donizetti. Regnava nel silenzio from Lucia di Lammermoor.
5. Bellini. Oh quante volte from I Capuleti e I Montecchi.
6. Gounod. Juliet´s Waltz.
7. Thomas. Ophelia´s Mad Scene.
8. Offenbach. Olympia´s aria from Les Contes d´Hoffmann.
9. Proch. Deh! torna, mio bene. A coloratura theme and variations discovered by Richard Bonynge.
10. Bowman. Now touch the air softly.
11. Mill´s. The Nightingale´song.

Lance
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Lance » Sat May 19, 2012 1:21 am

José: You are costing me more $$$! But it's money well spent. Your suggestions thus far have been "right-on," and I'm looking forward to hear this most diversified program featuring Emma Matthews! Thank you for the tip.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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josé echenique
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Sat May 19, 2012 8:06 am

Sorry Lance, yes, I know it is expensive to buy these Australian cd´s, but I´m sure you will find very rewarding the singing of Emma Matthews. Besides the recital there´s the Lakmé and a Rigoletto with Alan Opie, both from the Sydney Opera House, and both available in cd and dvd, those are splendid too.
I wonder if one of CMG Australian members has heard her live and can tell us something more about her.

It is strange that DECCA, for example, is recording Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, a pretty girl no doubt (and I guess much younger than Emma Matthews) but who is nowhere as interesting or gifted a singer...at least from what we get in her debut recording.


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bricon
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by bricon » Sat May 19, 2012 10:17 am

I have followed Emma Matthews since her 1993 debut here (then Emma Lysons). She is a superb singer and a committed actress.
She is one of the few singers that I have seen/heard who can triumph in the 4 soprano roles (in a single performance) of Hoffman - including that other Australian soprano. 

I will be seeing Emma Matthews in Lucia di Lammermoor later this year in Sydney. This promises to be a highlight of the season.

Emma Matthews bio from Opera Australia is here.

josé echenique
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Sat May 19, 2012 11:00 am

bricon wrote:I have followed Emma Matthews since her 1993 debut here (then Emma Lysons). She is a superb singer and a committed actress.
She is one of the few singers that I have seen/heard who can triumph in the 4 soprano roles (in a single performance) of Hoffman - including that other Australian soprano. 

I will be seeing Emma Matthews in Lucia di Lammermoor later this year in Sydney. This promises to be a highlight of the season.

Emma Matthews bio from Opera Australia is here.
Lucky you!
One is completely baffled that there´s such a great soprano and you have never heard of her.
I am very thankful that the Sydney Opera is releasing these performances in both cd and dvd, a truly great idea.
If you ever have a chance to talk to her, tell her that she is making lots of fans in Mexico thanks to these cds.

VIVA LA MATTHEWS!!!!

Agnes Selby
Author of Constanze Mozart's biography
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat May 19, 2012 3:55 pm

I too look forward to her Lucia peformance. I have
admired her for quite a few years.
Regards,
Agnes.

josé echenique
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Sat May 19, 2012 10:57 pm

How come you guys never told us about her?
I have played her Rigoletto twice and my admiration, if anything, only increases.

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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Lance » Sun May 20, 2012 12:27 am

Well, truth be known, Australia has certainly given many gifts, in the way of singers, to the world I am truly appreciative. I have yet to make it to Australia, but it is a dream I have to visit there one day (and maybe New Zealand - perhaps Kiri and I can play golf together!) :wink: Insofar as Aleksandra Kurzak goes, I have that recording, too and was impressed with her voice for the most part. Speaking of sopranos, what has happened to Sumi Jo of late? I think she is another Richard Bonynge soprano. However, no doubt the finest soprano he has worked with (outside of Dame Joan, of course) is Deborah Riedel, who died at age 50 from cancer. If you don't know this voice, try to acquire her two Australian Melba CDs. Melba Records is apparently not receiving funding like they have in the past and heaven only knows what may happen with the label. Their productions, I have found, are absolutely first class!
josé echenique wrote:Sorry Lance, yes, I know it is expensive to buy these Australian cd´s, but I´m sure you will find very rewarding the singing of Emma Matthews. Besides the recital there´s the Lakmé and a Rigoletto with Alan Opie, both from the Sydney Opera House, and both available in cd and dvd, those are splendid too.
I wonder if one of CMG Australian members has heard her live and can tell us something more about her.

It is strange that DECCA, for example, is recording Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, a pretty girl no doubt (and I guess much younger than Emma Matthews) but who is nowhere as interesting or gifted a singer...at least from what we get in her debut recording.


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Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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josé echenique
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Sun May 20, 2012 7:15 am

Sumi Jo sang here last year and it was a disappointment. Her voice is worn now, and she went trough the motions like a mechanical doll. Not pretty.
But to tell the truth, even in her best years I was not a fan. She had a little, pretty voice without much character. She was pleasant rather than memorable.
Just compare Lella Cuberli in either of her Tancredi Amenaides with Jo in the Naxos recording. There´s pretty and then there´s truly great singing.

josé echenique
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Wed May 23, 2012 6:00 pm

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I can´t have enough of Emma Matthews. I played again her Lakmé and just confirmed my first thoughts, she is quite simply fabulous.

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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Lance » Thu May 24, 2012 12:32 am

I'm expecting the CD very soon. You and I share similar interests in the beauty of the human voice. You are now making me nervous because I want to HEAR Ms. Emma Matthews NOW! I don't know if I can wait ... but I will have to. Thank you for the tip, too ... Pepe. [Hey, she's got gorgeous eyes, too!]
josé echenique wrote:Image

I can´t have enough of Emma Matthews. I played again her Lakmé and just confirmed my first thoughts, she is quite simply fabulous.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

josé echenique
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Thu May 24, 2012 7:09 am

She is very cute Lance. I think the A & R people from Universal are completely insane for not recording her.

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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Lance » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:47 pm

CD arrived today and checking it out now. So far, all I can say is WOW! What a voice. Where have I been all this time?!?

I note ABC Classics and DGG both have their logos on the CD. The catalogue number is similar to ABC Classics' type and is also similar to DGG's. What label would you file this under on your shelves, José?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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josé echenique
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:11 pm

Lance wrote:CD arrived today and checking it out now. So far, all I can say is WOW! What a voice. Where have I been all this time?!?

I note ABC Classics and DGG both have their logos on the CD. The catalogue number is similar to ABC Classics' type and is also similar to DGG's. What label would you file this under on your shelves, José?
Isn´t she GREAT Lance? I know the good girls from the bad, and this one is very, very good.

I think it´s an ABC recording, it does not appear in any DG catalogue, so my guess is that the DG logo appears just for prestige, but really, it´s ridiculous that they didn´t incorporate this outstanding recording into their international catalogue.

And don´t forget that there is a Rigoletto and a Lakmé both on cd and dvd from the Sydney Opera House. The Lakmé is particularly treasurable, but madame Matthews is outstanding in both.

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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Lance » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:20 am

José, I'm having problems getting to the operas you refer to at the Sydney Opera House site. Can you send me an active URL that gets me there quickly? ¡Gracias!
josé echenique wrote:
Lance wrote:CD arrived today and checking it out now. So far, all I can say is WOW! What a voice. Where have I been all this time?!?

I note ABC Classics and DGG both have their logos on the CD. The catalogue number is similar to ABC Classics' type and is also similar to DGG's. What label would you file this under on your shelves, José?
Isn´t she GREAT Lance? I know the good girls from the bad, and this one is very, very good.

I think it´s an ABC recording, it does not appear in any DG catalogue, so my guess is that the DG logo appears just for prestige, but really, it´s ridiculous that they didn´t incorporate this outstanding recording into their international catalogue.

And don´t forget that there is a Rigoletto and a Lakmé both on cd and dvd from the Sydney Opera House. The Lakmé is particularly treasurable, but madame Matthews is outstanding in both.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

josé echenique
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by josé echenique » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:51 am

I couldn´t copy the URLs but here are the ASIN numbers from Amazon.com:

Lakmé CD
Audio CD (April 24, 2012)
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Opera Australia/Naxos
ASIN: B007C7FDNS
Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,901 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

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The Lakmé is available in both BluRay and DVD:

Format: Color, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Opera Australia/Naxos
DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
Run Time: 143 minutes
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
ASIN: B007C7FFNG
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,467 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Format: Widescreen
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Opera Australia/Naxos
DVD Release Date: April 24, 2012
Run Time: 143 minutes
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
ASIN: B007C7FFEA
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,674 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)


Rigoletto BluRay:

Format: Classical
Language: Italian (DTS-HD 5.1), Italian (Stereo)
Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Opera Australia
DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011
Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
ASIN: B00549I432
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,987 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Rigoletto CD:

oduct Details
Audio CD (July 12, 2011)
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Opera Australia
ASIN: B00549I42I
Also Available in: Audio CD | Vinyl
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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bricon
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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by bricon » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:55 am

Lance wrote:José, I'm having problems getting to the operas you refer to at the Sydney Opera House site. Can you send me an active URL that gets me there quickly? ¡Gracias!
The Sydney Opera House is not directly associated with Opera Australia, furthermore the SOH's giftshop and merchandise offering is quite pathetic. OA don't sell their recordings through their website although they are available over the counter at their Surry Hills rehearsal studios.

I buy quite a lot of recordings from Fish Music in Sydney - they stock all of the Opera Australia recordings.
The Lakmé and Rigoletto sets mentioned by josé are listed on this webpage

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Re: A gift from down under: soprano Emma Matthews

Post by Lance » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:28 am

Thank you, José and Bricon. These are recordings I will acquire.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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