Image by: Kurt Sneddon (Emma Pearson soprano)

Acclaimed soprano to perform spellbinding song cycle with NZSO


Renowned soprano Emma Pearson is to tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, performing in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch in October. The Australian-born singer, who made her professional operatic debut with New Zealand Opera, will perform Richard Strauss’ elegiac song cycle Four Last Songs.

As a young singer in Wiesbaden, Germany, I saw how this beautiful, deceptively hard piece, functions as a rite of passage for soprano,” says Pearson.

It requires a deep understanding of Strauss’ vision, and also life experience, to bring the necessary gravitas and connection to the text, while still letting the voice soar as high as the great Elisabeth Schumann’s would have done. Now in the 16th year of my career, I have spent 10 of those years performing Strauss’ operas all over the world, so I’m very grateful that NZSO is entrusting me to bring his music and the exquisite poetry of Hermann Hesse and Josef von Eichendorff to life, with Maestro Hamish McKeich at the helm.”

Emma Pearson Hamish McKeich2

Emma Pearson and Hamish McKeich (image supplied)

The NZSO concerts open with Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen, which has been interpreted as a lament to the destruction of Germany in the Second World War. For Auckland and Wellington's concert, Monumental, the powerhouse finale will be Tchaikovsky’s timeless Symphony No. 5.   In Christchurch's concert, the NZSO will perform Beethoven’s revolutionary Symphony No. 3 Eroica.

Tickets to Monumental in Wellington and Auckland, and Metamorphosis in Dunedin, are available via

Tickets to Metamorphosis in Christchurch are available via

The Wellington concert will be live-streamed at

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Written By: Radio13