'Simple Gifts' Aaron Copland
A unique blend of soprano favourites and classic South African songs from a formidable talent. John Suchet's Album of the Week, 28 July 2014
This first release from South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza traces her story in songs and arias: from her childhood in the townships to the stages of Europe’s great opera houses.
See Pumeza at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony >
Pumeza discovered opera by accident, on the radio as a teenager. She went on to enrol at the South African College of Music and was discovered by composer Kevin Volans. He bought her a ticket to London where she auditioned for the Royal College of Music and was immediately offered a full scholarship. She went on to join the Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House and today is part of the Stuttgart Opera company.
Her debut album mixes classic South African songs - including such hits as Pata Pata and The Click Song - with favourite arias by Puccini and Mozart. Pumeza has a forceful vocal presence which belies her youthfulness - a rich, creamy voice that wowed the crowd at the opening of the Commonwealth Games and is sure to take her much further.