21 June 2013 at 5.07pm | 1 Comment
Pumeza first encountered opera when channel-surfing on the radio. She subsequently auditioned at the South African College of Music, following which composer Kevin Volans bought her a plane ticket to London, where she was offered a full scholarship at the Royal College of Music. She was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme from 2007 to 2009.
Her debut album will follow her musical journey from the townships of her childhood to the operatic stage, featuring traditional African songs in her native Xhosa language and tracks accompanied by The African Children's Choir as well as popular arias by Mozart and Puccini.
‘I feel privileged to be able to chart my incredible journey through the very personal repertoire choices on this album,' she says, ' it features songs and arias that prove music unites people across the world and brings cultures together.’
As a Jette Parker Young Artist, Pumeza performed in Main Stage productions including Wagner’s Parsifal, Richard Strauss’s Salome, Birtwistle’s The Minotaur and Verdi’s Don Carlo. She went on to sign a three year contract with Oper Stuttgart in 2011, where her roles include Ännchen in Der Freischütz, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
‘Pumeza’s voice has a haunting beauty that goes straight to the heart; you rarely encounter such distinctive quality,’ says Paul Moseley, Managing Director of Decca Classics. ‘Her story has inspired us and we believe she will soon grace the great opera houses of the world.’