Emma Matthews is Australia’s most awarded soprano. As a young child growing up on the island of Vanuatu, Matthews didn’t have any television to watch, but would spend her time singing and entertaining her family. Her singing talent was evident from an early age.
Dreaming of a life on the stage, she was accepted into the prestigious Music Theatre degree at WAAPA, but during her first year it soon became apparent that Emma Matthews was not headed for musical theatre, but rather was destined for the world of opera. She made the change to opera and hasn’t looked back, although credits her acting training as making a significant contribution to her success.
Emma Matthews has performed regularly with Opera Australia, every state opera company and every major Australian symphony orchestra. She has released her own solo recordings: Emma Matthews in Monte Carlo (Deutsche Grammophon/ABC Classics), Mozart arias (ABC Classics) and Agony and Ecstasy (ABC Classics).
She has carved out an enviable career and has won seven Helpmann Awards: six Best Female Lead in an Opera for Lulu, Lakme, The Love of the Nightingale, La Sonnambula, Partenope and La Traviata, and one Best Female in a Supporting Role for Arabella. Her work has also earned her nine Green Room Awards, as well as a multitude of other awards.
Without doubt, Emma Matthews is one of our most extraordinary and most successful performers.
More recently, Emma Matthews was appointed as the Head of Classical Voice at WAAPA and she has now settled back in Perth with her husband and children. Despite the demands of her education work, Matthews still makes time to perform. Her latest work is The Space Between.
The idea for the show came about in an unusual way. In 2016, Matthews and jazz pianist Paul Grabowsky were locked up in a Green Room together for several hours, waiting to perform for the world leaders attending the G20 Summit. During their many conversations during the lock-up time, Emma Matthews asked Grabowsky why he’d never written anything for her.
That conversation sparked an idea that ultimately led to the writing of this new song cycle by Steve Vizard and Paul Grabowsky. The Space Between started being a work about Matthews’ life, but evolved into a powerful and dramatic exploration of not just her own journey, but also that of the heroines she has portrayed.
As Emma Matthews explained, The Space Between is about what happens between the notes – between the last song performed in one song and the first note of the next. It’s that space in between notes in the life of a diva, who is not only a performer, but a wife, lover, mother and daughter.
The Space Between is a new Australian work unlike anything else, combining our most awarded soprano with acclaimed jazz pianist Paul Grabowsky and Jamie Oehlers on saxophone – all set in the intimacy of the Fairfax Studio at Melbourne’s Arts Centre.
The Space Between opens on Thursday 13th September and plays until Sunday 23rd September. Tickets start from just $35 for under 30s.
For more information and to book: CLICK HERE