Emma Matthews (born 1970) is an English-born Australian lyric coloratura soprano, noted for operatic roles, but also popular on the concert stage. A Principal Artist with Opera Australia, Matthews has received more Helpmann Awards than any other individual artist, nine Green Room Awards, the Mo Award and the Remy Martin Australian Opera Award.
Life and career
Born Emma Lysons in Manchester, England, she grew up with three younger sisters in Fiji, where her father worked as a maritime pilot, and Vanuatu before moving to Cairns, Queensland, Port Hedland, Western Australia, and finally Perth. There she attended Perth Modern School before studying musical theatre at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music (part of Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), but was persuaded by a teacher to switch to opera. She sang with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Western Australia in 1990. Since her 1991 professional debut with the West Australian Opera and appointment to Opera Australia in 1993, she has appeared in every state of Australia, notably with the State Opera of South Australia, Victorian State Opera and Opera Queensland in Adelaide, Melbourne as well as frequent appearances at the Huntington Estate Music Festival for Musica Viva from 1994.
She is married to Stephen Matthews, a former chorister and later a stage mechanic with Opera Australia.
- Damigella in L'incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi) in 1993
- Ilia in Idomeneo (Mozart)
- Hero in Béatrice et Bénédict (Berlioz)
- Papagena and Pamina in The Magic Flute (Mozart)
- Oscar in Un ballo in maschera (Verdi)
- Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Richard Strauss)
- Marie in La fille du régiment (Donizetti)
- Nannetta in Falstaff (Verdi)
- Rosina in The Barber of Seville (Rossini)
- Blonde and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart)
- Morgana in Alcina (Handel)
- Almirena in Rinaldo (Handel)
- Servilia in La clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
- Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)
- Sophie in Werther (Massenet)
- Adele in Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss)
- Ismene in Mitridate, re di Ponto (Mozart) (produced by Graham Vick) for the 2001 Sydney Festival
- Stasi in Die Csárdásfürstin (Kálmán)
- Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Puccini)
- all four heroines (Stella, Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta) in The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach)
- Zwaantie in Batavia (Richard Mills) 2001 world premiere
- Lulu in Lulu (Alban Berg)
- Bystrouškain/Sharpears, the Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček) for Opera Australia
- Philomele in The Love of the Nightingale (Richard Mills) - 2007 world premiere
- Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Handel)
- Juliette in Roméo et Juliette (Gounod)
- Lakmé in Lakmé (Delibes)
- Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
- Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini)
- Gilda in Rigoletto (Verdi)
- Violetta in La traviata (Verdi)
Matthews has also been well received in concerts, with a repertoire from Mozart's Requiem, Haydn Masses, and Handel's Messiah to works by Brahms, Poulenc and Villa Lobos, and Mahler's Symphonies No. 2 and No. 4. She appeared with José Carreras in Sydney 2008, then on New Year's Eve in Mozart's Great Mass in C minor with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
- The Edge by Nigel Westlake. pub. Tall Poppies TP-085, produced for an IMAX movie about the Blue Mountains
- Handel Arias pub. Artworks AW029 in 2001, well-known pieces including her Morgana and Almirena parts with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.
- Emma Matthews in Monte Carlo, bel canto arias with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, recorded by Deutsche Grammophon, released 2009 on ABC Classics ISBN 4763555
- ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards 1993
- Helpmann Awards for The Love of a Nightingale, Arabella, Lakmé and Lulu
- Mo Award (Classical Performer of the Year) for Lulu
- Green Room Awards for her parts in Lulu, Clemenza di Tito, Rinaldo, The Marriage of Figaro, Batavia, Signor Bruschino, Julius Caesar and Lakmé
- Remy Martin Australian Opera Award Best Female Singer: 1996, as Lulu 2003, as Sofia 2005.
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- Michael Shmith, "Looking after Lulu", The Age, 9 November 2002, Saturday Extra, p. 3
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- "Gilbert & Sullivan Society of W.A. Programmes". Slwa.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- "Dial Em for murder". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 September 2003. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
- "Emma Matthews in lead role of Opera Australia's new work". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
- "The Eighth Wonder (1995) (TV)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- "The Eighth Wonder [video recording] - Version details - Trove". Nla.gov.au. 1995-10-20. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- "CD: The edge : the music / by Nigel Westlake.  : Product". Australian Music Centre. 2002-08-29. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
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- "Emma Matthews in Monte Carlo". Buywell.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- "Sunday Arts (article)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 September 2009.