“There is no point beating around the bush. Lemalu, a New Zealand born Samoan, is a major talent. His voice defies easy categorisation, combining the depth and authority of a bass with the flexibility and vocal colouring of a baritone”.
The 2011-2012 season saw debuts with the Beijing Music Festival, San Diego Opera, New Zealand String Quartet, Florilegeum, Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Beethoven Orchester and Beethovenhalle (Bonn), Kings Place Music Festival (London), San Francisco Opera, and return engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZ International Arts Festival, London Mozart Players, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, BBC Proms, BBC National Orchestra of Wales under conductors including Dutoit, Mechavich, Taddei, Hill, Goodwin, Rosewell, Tovey, Charles Abell, Inkinen, Otaka and Summers.
New repertoire for this season includes the World Premiere of Gao Ping’s Three Poems by Mu Xin, Te Kumete/Hohepa (McLeod), staged debut of Porgy/Porgy & Bess (Gershwin), Hunding/Die Walkyrie (Wagner), Le Rossignol (Stravinsky), L’enfant et les sortileges (Ravel).
The 2010-2011 season has seen debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Beijing Symphony, and returns to the Orchestre de Radio France, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra with conductors including Dutoit, Adams, Fischer, Jacobs, Alsop and Inkinen.
Newly added repertoire and roles include Frere Laurence/Romeo et Juliette (Berlioz), Gobrias/Belshazzar (Handel), Bass solo/J’eanne d’Arc au Bucher (Honegger), Bass solo, Pater Profundis/Symphony no 8 (Mahler), Collatinus/Rape of Lucretia (Britten), Bass solo/A child of our time (Tippett). Other highlights include a recital debut at Berlin’s Philharmonie with Malcolm Martineau, and singing La Marseillaise at the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final (France v Wales) at Eden Park , New Zealand in front of 60,000 people and a TV audience of millions.