Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Orchestra Wellington Conducted By Marc Taddei

Orchestra Wellington Conducted By Marc Taddei

The soprano soloist for Orchestra Wellington’s next concert might just be a modern Superwoman. Lexus Song Quest winner Madeleine Pierard will be 37 weeks pregnant when she sings for the concert named “La Donna Ideale”. 

So far Pierard’s smallest and nearest listener has remained quiet under her ribs when she sings, but afterwards the occasional lively bout of kicking can put sleep in short supply.

It’s all part of life for a freelance musician, Pierard says. “You have to take the work when it’s offered,” she says.

Pierard’s work regularly takes her between Paekakariki and London. In October, she’s booked for more work in England.

“But due to Britain’s immigration rules, the baby has to be born here in New Zealand, first,” Pierard says.

She’s not fazed by the challenges of singing around her pregnancy. “My sister Anna has done it, singing Suzuki in Auckland shortly after a caesarian in Spain.”

She’s kept very fit well into her pregnancy, and hasn’t felt out of breath. And she’s surrounded by support wherever she goes.

Her husband lives in Paekakariki, and she can count on a large and close-knit family in New Zealand.

But her studies in London in the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme have given her a connection with Covent Garden that could be lifelong.

“As a graduate of the Jette Parker programme, I can return any time for coaching. The staff keep a strong interest in everyone they’ve worked with, and it’s got a very family atmosphere. When I went back after my wedding in New Zealand, everyone knew and congratulated me. I felt so welcomed.”

While in London during her second trimester, Pierard had a brief stay in hospital. New Zealand soprano Aivale Cole stepped in to “hang out” and make sure Pierard didn’t feel alone. “She was just awesome.”

Pierard may simply have a gift for friendship. She says she really enjoyed singing competitions when she was younger. “I never met animosity or bad feeling. It was a big social scene, and I loved meeting other singers there. 

Pierard confesses she loved competing in the Lexus. “I enjoyed it so much. And winning it was the affirmation I needed that this was for me. Before then, I was sort of an accidental singer.”

Pierard’s family includes many musicians and Madeleine had always sung in choirs. “But becoming an opera singer has been a surprise to me. I was always more into early and Renaissance music.” She studied biomedical science and composition at Victoria University, only taking serious singing lessons two years before winning the Lexus.

Almost immediately upon arriving in London after the Lexus, reviewers were praising her voice for its “glittering, secure virtuosity” and her ability to give a role “style, temperament and personality”.

Pierard joins Orchestra Wellington to present two song cycles that cross the divide between popular and classical music. A set of songs by Luciano Berio are inspired by folk songs and folk singers from Azerbaijan and the Auvergne to Sicily, Sardinia, and Kentucky. Their theme is love. Orchestra Wellington’s composer in residence Juliet Palmer also takes love as her theme in her new work for the orchestra, Solid Gold. Palmer took titles from 30 years of solid gold hits and formed them into a collage of lyrics, which she set to her own music inspired by the sound world of pop production 

“She’s very engaging, and I can’t wait to work with her in person,” says Pierard.

Two works by Beethoven begin and end the concert – his dramatic Leonore No 1 overture and his witty Eighth Symphony.

Beethoven:              Leonore Overture No 1, Op 138

Juliet Palmer:           Solid Gold

Berio:                      Folk Songs    

Beethoven:              Symphony No 8, Op 93 in F major 

Tickets from Ticketek 0800 842 538 Service fee will apply


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news