Int. Release 06 Oct. 2014
1 CD / Download
0289 478 7605 2 CD DDD DH
German, Austrian, Swiss version:

Track List

Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)
Gianni Schicchi


Act 1

Pumeza Matshikiza, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Simon Hewett


William Fedhile
Miriam Makeba (1932 - 2008), Jerry Ragovoy (1935 - )

Norman Byfield Thomas
Pumeza Matshikiza, Aurora Orchestra, Iain Farrington

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Don Giovanni, K.527

Act 2

Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)
La Bohème

Act 3

Pumeza Matshikiza, Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Simon Hewett

Kevin Volans (1949 - )
MacKay Davashe
Alan Silinga

Nathan Mdledle, Joseph Mogotsi, Rufus Khoza, Ronnie Sehume

Miriam Makeba (1932 - 2008)

Pumeza Matshikiza, Aurora Orchestra, Iain Farrington

Mackay Davasche
Pumeza Matshikiza, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Iain Farrington

Hamish Scott Henderson, John MacLennan
Pumeza Matshikiza, Sura Susso, Mamadou Ndiaye Cissokho, Fiona Hamilton, Phil Cunningham

Total Playing Time: 44:25

Almost four years ago, I was bowled over by the voice of the South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza as the female lead in Wexford Festival's production of Smetana's ["The Kiss"] . . . Matshikiza sang ["Vendulka's Lullaby"] so gorgeously . . . [on "Voice of Hope" CD]: [a] distinctive beauty of a special voice. In the African songs, unsurprisingly, she's in her element: she could probably choose between an opera and a crossover career . . . [on "Dido and Aeneas" at the Bristol Proms]: Her Dido looked magnificent, a shimmering, silver-clad African queen, and her voice shimmered, too . . . [nice] to hear a fruity, sensual soprano in this role . . .

With a game-changing album of arias and traditional South African songs, soprano Pumeza Matshikiza is taking opera in a new direction . . .

. . . ["O mio babbino caro" from "Gianni Schicchi" and "Signore, ascolta!" from "Turandot"] reveal a substantial lyric voice, with a lovely warm tone and quite a strong vibrato. She has a finely open sound, and brings sensitive shaping to the music . . . "Signore, ascolta!" is vibrant with an even, well filled line . . . "Pata Pata" is nicely catchy, capturing the songs interesting rhythmic feel with some great percussion in the accompaniment . . . ["Vedrai, carino" from Mozart's "Don Giovanni"] is poised with a fine feel for the phrasing. Her diction is excellent . . . Mimi's "Donde lieta usci" from Act three of Puccini's "La Boheme" is near ideal, with a lovely rich line combined with singing of fluidity and flexibility, plus a fabulous climax . . . ["Umzi Watsha"]: the song is quite strongly characterful, and Pumeza makes it rather intriguingly effective . . . ["Lakutshon Ilanga"] receives a lush orchestration from Farrington and beautifully controlled and affecting vocals from Pumeza. This is a fascinating disc, with Pumeza showing herself adept at performing both the operatic arias and the Miriam Makeba songs. She has a voice of great beauty which, on this showing, is combined with great sensibility. Certainly a talent to watch.

Each number advertises an ample and well controlled lyric voice, especially appealing in her three Puccini arias and the lilting Swahili song "Malaika".

Her voice is well-schooled, with a natural amplitude that fits her for large opera houses. She has an especially well-developed middle range that makes her seem best suited to be a mezzo-soprano . . . as a visiting card, announcing a major new talent, this will do fine.

. . . this is a cunningly programmed crossover package . . . the arrangements are much more idiomatic than is usually the case.

Listening to songs of other countries is always revealing -- the themes, the melodies and the accompaniment . . . what a refreshing and beautiful debut disc she offers us . . .

. . . [Mashikiza präsentiert] auf ihrem Debüt-Album einen mehr als überraschenden und erfrischenden Mix aus Oper, Weltmusik und klassisch arrangierten Miriam Makeba-Titeln. Mit fließenden Übergängen zwischen den Repertoires. Das ist ungemein eingängig: akute Ohrwurm-Gefahr! . . . ein hochinteressantes Album . . . [Puccini, Mozart]: Souverän gestaltet und mit herrlicher Stimme vorgetragen . . . Durch die enorme Klang-Amplitude zwischen dunklem Samt und gleißend heller Seide klingen sie außerdem angenehm ungewohnt. Zu voller Form läuft Pumeza dann auf, wenn sie im traditionellen Click-Song "Qongqothwane" verschiedene Klick-, Kieks-, Kitzel- und Schnalzlaute der Bantu-Sprachen einbaut . . . Großartig das Folk-Wiegenlied "Thula Baba" und der Makeba-Klassiker "The Naughty Little Flea". Hier singt Pumeza mit großer Stimme, ohne dass dies als fremd zu empfinden wäre. Selbst als Holzweg eines Opernsängerinnen-Grenzganges ist dies ein überaus sympathisches, merkwürdiges und höchst genießbares Album geworden. "Voice Of Hope" zeigt, dass wir beim klassikaffinen Repertoire Afrikas noch unbeleckte Ohren haben . . . Vielleicht die Überraschung des Jahres!

Eine ehemalige Teilnehmerin von Dame Kiris Meisterkursen legt nun ihre erste spektakuläre CD vor: Pumeza Matshikiza . . . Vergangenheit trifft gewissermaßen auf Gegenwart und Zukunft, vereint mit einem leicht herben, feminine Stimmtimbre von hohem Wiedererkennungswert.

Die junge Sängerin verfügt über attraktives, individuelles, wie aus Kupfer getriebenes Timbre.