Operatic soprano Elena Perroni at Perth Concert Hall in Brahms’ German Requiem with WASO and Asher Fisch

David CusworthThe West Australian
Elena Perroni sings Brahms’ German Requiem with WA Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch.
Camera IconElena Perroni sings Brahms’ German Requiem with WA Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch. Credit: West Australian Opera

Music lovers have a rare chance to hear operatic soprano Elena Perroni at Perth Concert Hall next weekend before the WA-raised star flies back to the US, where she has been for 10 years.

Her return to Perth at New Year was rushed.

“[It was] the state of the world really, the people that I love, in case I might not get the opportunity to see them again for a very long time,” she says.

“But luckily we live in a paradise here so it was very easy to come back to, and also it’s been a wonderful opportunity to forge relationships with these amazing companies we have here.”

Perroni has been in the US since she was 21, graduating from the prestigious Curtis Institute in 2017, the first Australian singer to do so.

“I made all my professional debuts over there,” she says. “This year I was set to make my Carnegie Hall debut but unfortunately that’s been postponed due to COVID and in between I’ve done some cool things like being part of the first opera that was performed at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, which is a famous jazz theatre, quite an iconic theatre.”

Elena Perroni
Camera IconElena Perroni

She’s sung with the Philadelphia Opera and English National Opera, and toured Europe, yet her Australian shows are few.

She sang the lead for West Australian Opera in the Park in La Boheme(2018) and La Traviata (2019), and highlights from Madama Butterfly for Freeze Frame Opera this month.

Her repertoire is big on romantic opera, but this weekend she’s singing Brahms’ German Requiem with WA Symphony Orchestra.

“I wouldn’t have generally chosen it for myself but I really enjoyed working on it and it’s amazing how (conductor) Asher Fisch had the ear to choose my voice for it and it’s brought something new to my repertoire and my approach to music,” she says.

“Brahms wrote it for his mother who just passed and my part is the only female solo part.

“It’s kind of intriguing because the opening line is ‘Have no sorrow’, and it’s set in this bright, major tone, and we repeat the word sorrow, sorrow, sorrow, but it doesn’t sound sorrowful at all, and I think it’s a comment on how Brahms would like to think optimistically about the afterlife, that there is no suffering, there is no more sorrow.”

It’s a bit of serendipity among the COVID chaos.

“It’s been blessing to me because I’ve been dying to work with Asher all over the world, and WASO’s standard is comparable to some of the greatest orchestras I’ve worked with,” Perroni says.

Elena Perroni sings Brahms’ German Requiem with WA Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch.
Camera IconElena Perroni sings Brahms’ German Requiem with WA Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch. Credit: Freeze Frame Opera

“Every time I come back here I’m pleasantly reminded how good they are. Because generally isolation makes it harder to have access to such great talent, I feel, WASO sounds incredible.”

Next week she’s back on the plane.

“There’s tentative work for me but I kind of left in a rush and need to get my affairs in order,” Perroni says.

“I’m due back in WA at the end of the year.”

WASO plays Brahms’ German Requiem at Perth Concert Hall on Friday and Saturday, June 25-26, at 7.30pm.

www.waso.com.au

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