Patricia Wright is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed sopranos, with an extensive career of recital and concert performances at home and internationally. She joins the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in December for their Christmas concerts at Holy Trinity Cathedral.
You’ve forged a very successful career as a soprano. What are the best and most challenging things about your job?
There are many wonderful aspects to my job as an opera and concert singer. Firstly, I love classical music and to be able to sing and perform vocal music that I adore is so special. I enjoy ticking off another work that I have sung; it’s always a challenge learning, but especially memorising, new music.
What are some of your favourite, and also more demanding roles and works you’ve sung?
Some of the opera roles I have found most challenging would be Madame Butterfly and Leonora in Il Trovatore, both are relentless, but ‘Butterfly’ especially is sublime music. If I could leave this world being satisfied I have sung three works, they would be Madame Butterfly, Verdi’s Requiem and Strauss’s four last songs; all of which I have achieved.
Tell us a little bit about your teaching work.
Another wonderful aspect of being a successful singer is that I have the opportunity to impart my years of experience and training to students. I get so enthusiastic working with them and know that this is something I will always have a passion for.
You’ve performed with the APO many times, but tell us about this upcoming concert.
I am so thrilled to be singing with the APO for their Celebrate Christmas concert – such a happy time of year and such celebratory music. I have had the luxury of choosing the pieces I would like to sing for the concert, including Mozart’s ‘Laudate Dominum’, Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ and selections from Handel’s Messiah.
How do you like to spend Christmas?
For me the perfect Christmas day is a long walk on the beach and then in the evening enjoying good bubbly, delicious food and surrounded by my loving family.