Pumeza Matshikiza – Biography

Lyric soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, described by the Independent as "one of today's most exciting new operatic voices", is one of a new generation of emerging opera stars from South Africa.

Pumeza studied at the University of Cape Town College of Music under Professor Virginia Davids, before continuing her studies at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Michel Vallat as a Peter Moores, Pidem, and Derek Butler Trust Scholar.

Pumeza then became a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme at the Royal Opera House for the 2007/8 and 2008/9 seasons, and, in January 2010, won First Prize in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. She is also an Associate Artist of the Classical Opera Company.

Recent highlights include Ännchen Der Freischütz, Susanna Le nozze di Figaro, Zerlina Don Giovanni and Pamina Die Zauberflöte at the Stuttgart State Opera, where Pumeza has been a member of the ensemble for the past two seasons. Prior to this, Pumeza made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, singing the role of Flower maiden Parsifal. While a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme, she also sang the roles of Slave Salome, Innocent The Minotaur, Tebaldo Don Carlos, Witch Dido and Aeneas and Sandman Hänsel und Gretel.

Pumeza has also recently sung the title role in Zaide for the Classical Opera Company, for which she won the Patrick Fyffe-Dame Hilda Brackett prize, and Vendulka in Smetana’s The Kiss for Wexford Festival. Future highlights include new productions of Falstaff and La bohème at the Stuttgart State Opera, singing Nanetta and Mimì respectively.

On the concert platform, Pumeza has performed at the Wigmore Hall and, with Julius Drake, performed recitals in Leicester, at the London Jewish Cultural Centre and at the Queille Festival, France. Pumeza has also sung at Graignamanagh in Ireland and worked with accompanists Malcolm Martineau and Simon Lepper.

Previous roles at the RCM include Marenka The Bartered Bride, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte, Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, Concepción L’Heure espagnole, Poppea L’incoronazione di Poppea and Contessa Le nozze di Figaro. Pumeza has participated in masterclasses with artists such as Philip Langridge, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Thomas Allen, Renata Scotto, Joan Rogers, Paul Farrington

and Ileana Cotrubas.

Pumeza Matshikiza records exclusively for Decca Classics and is represented worldwide by Intermusica.

March 2013