Emma Matthews

with Richard Hetherington

Emma Matthews web.jpg


Songs and arias by Schubert, Mozart, Thomas, Donizetti, Bernstein, Lehar, Herbert and others.

‘Matthews sang with superbly languorous bel canto colour and shape.’ Sydney Morning Herald

Emma Matthews is one of Australia’s most beloved performers, a star of the operatic stage and the concert hall. Her versatility, charisma and exquisite coloratura soprano voice have made her not only an ideal Mozart heroine or Handel queen but also the perfect vamp in Berg’s gritty Lulu.

Matthews has created roles in major new Australian operas and has explored fascinating repertoire old and new, but it is perhaps as an exponent of the art of bel canto that she is most renowned. It’s no surprise that she’s often compared to Joan Sutherland. This demanding vocal style exults in the agility and beauty of the voice to thrilling dramatic effect, as Matthews will demonstrate when she performs arias by Bellini, Donizetti and Thomas in a rare solo recital with one of the UK’s most accomplished repetiteurs, Richard Hetherington.

Schubert and Mozart were also devotees of the voice, gifting sopranos with some of the purest examples of melody at its purest. Schubert’s lieder combine story and song – think of Gretchen musing at her spinning wheel – while Mozart’s arias are musical expressions of character par excellence. Finally, Matthews celebrates the pleasures of operetta and popular song by Lehar, Bernstein, Victor Herbert and Flanders and Swann – a glittering, gay end to an evening with one of opera’s brightest stars.

Marshall McGuire, Director of Artistic Planning on Emma Matthews:

Emma Matthews is one of Australia’s true stars of opera, yet we rarely get a chance to hear her up-close-and-personal. Spend an evening with this charming, vivacious and virtuosic star.

Emma Matthews will be signing CDs in the ground floor foyer following the concert.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Franz Schubert
Du Bist dei Ruh
Gretchen am Spinnrade, D.118
An die Musik, D.547

Richard Strauss

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ruhe sanft

Vincenzo Bellini
Ah non credea … Ah non Giunge, La Sonnambula

Ambroise Thomas
‘Mad Scene’ from Hamlet

Gaetano Donizetti
O luce di quest’ anima

Leonard Bernstein
Glitter and be Gay

Franz Lehár
Meine Lippen sie kussen, so heiss

Donald Swann
A Word on My Ear

Victor Herbert
Art is calling for me

Jerome Kern
‘All the Things You Are’ from Very Warm for May


Join musicians and experts to delve deeper into the music and lives of the composers by attending a free pre-concert talk 45-minutes before each Great Performers concert.



Matthews’ assured and arresting agility, virtuosic brilliance and musical maturity was a rare treat.


This production is part of the following series:

Welcome to Great Performers 2017

Melbourne Recital Centre’s flagship international recital series, showcasing the truly greatest solo performers from across the globe.