MARIE / WOZZECK
Wozzeck - Berg, with Orchestra Wellington under Marc Taddei
"Fortunately the cast is studded with excellence, notably in the form of Madeleine Pierard, whose performance as Marie shows a singer going from strength to strength."
Max Rashbrooke for The Post, 12 Nov 2023
STRAUSS / ENB
Vier Letzte Lieder with English National Ballet and National Ballet Philarhmonic, London
"I repeatedly found myself drawn away from the action ... and towards the mercurial rapture on the face of resplendent on-stage soprano Madeleine Pierard. And indeed it was she who earned the evening’s single most impassioned round of applause.."
Mark Monahan for The Telegraph, 22 Sept 2023
"This feeling of polish, of sleek precision and emotional sincerity, was seen to great effect in the closing work of the evening, Four Last Songs... gloriously sung by soprano Madeleine Pierard."
Jonathan Gray for Bachtrack, 22 Sept 2023
"the onstage soprano Madeleine Pierard envelops us, comfortingly, in the music’s calming acceptance of life’s end."
Siobhan Murphy for The Stage UK, 22 Sept 2023
"The evening ended with the premiere of David Dawson’s.. response to Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. His 12 body-stockinged dancers powered cleanly through his seamless enchainments but were eclipsed by Madeleine Pierard’s plangent soprano."
Louise Levene for Financial Times UK, 22 Sept 2023
"Concluding the evening, British choreographer David Dawson takes us on a deeply moving journey with Four Last Songs, Richard Strauss’s song cycle, often described as a poignant farewell to life. Underneath the heavens, twelve dancers unite in Dawson’s poetic, often abstract style to the music’s lush, lyrical melodies, enhanced by soprano Madeleine Pierard, bringing with them a feeling of serenity, eternity and the sublime. It’s a beautiful, moving conclusion to the repertoire."
Toby White for The Arbuturian, 22 Sept 2023
Fidelio - Beethoven (Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Young)
"Pierard’s more Wagnerian soprano never faltered. A particular highlight was her Act II duet O namenlose Freude!, in which Leonore is reunited at long last with her husband Florestan, confidently sung here by tenor Simon O’Neill. "
Jansson J Antmann for Limelight Magazine, 25 November 2022
"Most of the rest of the role was assumed by young New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard, who started learning the part on the flight to Sydney! A singer with much promise, she sang with a supple warmth and commitment, fully holding her own with tenor Simon O’Neill as Florestan in the ecstatic Act Two duet, ‘O namenlose Freude’. "
Michael Halliwell for Australian Book Review, 25 November 2022
"Madeleine Pierard took Leonore’s ensemble scenes with vivid colour and incisive strength from cross-dressing comedy and confusion of Act 1 to the wonderfully exultant duet with Simon O’Neill as Florestan. She carried all of these with engaged vitality and one cannot but salute the high professionalism of both in salvaging the evening."
Peter McCallum for the Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Nvember 2022
Verdi - Macbeth
(English Touring Opera, Cornelius/Dacre)
"<Lady Macbeth> is sung with notable distinction by Madeleine Pierard, a soprano who may not meet Verdi’s stipulation of a “rough, hollow, stifled" voice, but certainly attacks the part with glowing tone and stylistic panache."
Rupert Christiansen for The Telegraph, 10 March 2019
"Pierard, her tone a mixture of silk and metal, is electrifying throughout."
Tim Ashley for The Guardian, 10 March 2019
"Pierard was not fazed by the formidable demands Verdi places on the singer, dispatching “Si colmi il calice” with sultry flair. Pierard’s registers are well-integrated, as solid at the top as in the bottom, and she also seemed to capture that little bit of aridness that Verdi wrote into the role, a harshness that betrays Lady Macbeth’s ruthless ambition – a fine bit of vocal acting."
Dominic Lowe for Bachtrack, 11 March 2019
"Madeleine Pierard handles this killer role – especially the coloratura – with strength, assurance and style, but her distinctive, close-grained voice draws the listener in rather than leaping across the space. Tall and glamorous, she dominates the ambiguous, even detached relationship with <Macbeth>."
Yehuda Shapiro for The Stage, 12 March 2019
"In Madeleine Pierard, the production has a Lady Mac who towers over her husband, both dramatically and physically. <There> is beauty, grace and just a hint of madness in her performance. As Verdi intended, she makes her character the pivot on which the opera balances, albeit precariously."
Nick Kimberley for Evening Standard, 11 March 2019
'Pierard had a strong stage presence and powerful body language – everything seemed more intense when she was on stage – and her full-throated soprano was more than a match for Giuseppe Verdi’s vocal acrobatics in Act I Scene 2. Her restless writhings before her suicide in the final act made a powerful contrast to her aggressive confidence in the party which closes Act 2.Pierard had a strong stage presence and powerful body language – everything seemed more intense when she was on stage – and her full-throated soprano was more than a match for Giuseppe Verdi’s vocal acrobatics in Act I Scene 2. Her restless writhings before her suicide in the final act made a powerful contrast to her aggressive confidence in the party which closes Act 2.'
Janet Banks for IOCO: Kultur im Netz, 18 April 2019
Lucio Silla - Mozart (Buxton Festival, Cummings/Silverstein)
"Giunia's betrothed, Cecilio was sung with consistent style and a nice sense of surly rebellion and unpredictability by Madeleine Pierard. The plot requires Cecilio to hesitate a lot, to be impulsive and then to draw back (a typical opera seria device) and Pierard really managed to invest this with our sympathy."
Planet Hugill, 10 July 2017
"The four leading sopranos had the best of the evening, with fabulous projection and tone across the board. The two trouser roles (Madeleine Pierard as Cecilio and Karolina Plicková as Cinna) were exceptionally well portrayed, with brilliantly observed male body language. Pierard’s lyrical soprano was beautifully expressive as exiled husband Cecilio"
Bachtrack, 10 July 2017
"For this Buxton Festival/The English Concert co-production, conducted by Laurence Cummings, the singers were well chosen and delivered excellent results – in one case, outstandingly so. Soprano Madeleine Pierard, in the hero’s role of Cecilio (two of the four men in this story sing with high voices, so they’re women in ‘trouser’) was a knock-out in her delivery of arias such as Il tenero momento and in the trio Quell' orgoglioso sdegno."
Manchester Theatre Awards, 15 July 2017
"Soprano Madeleine Pierard as Cecilio stood out and compelled the attention"
BSECS 'Critick', 4 August 2017
Il barbiere di Siviglia - Rossini (The Royal Opera, London: Nanasi/Leiser/Caurier)
"The Berta was superb: New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard excels in all respects, making the most of her snuff-induced sneezes (her bulbous red nose helps the comedy along no end)"
Colin Clarke, Seen & Heard International, 13 September 2016
"Madeleine Pierard makes the most of Berta's solo number and leaves you wanting more."
Mark Valencia for WhatsOnStage, 15 September2016
"Madeleine Pierard is an excellent Berta, providing an expressive performance of ‘Il vecchiotto cerca moglie’ as she really gives the impression of taking the opportunity to vent her thoughts (and have a swig from a bottle) in the few moments that she can get to herself."
Music OMH, 19 September 2019
SYMPHONY No 2
Synphony No. 2 - Ross Harris (NZSO/McKeich
“Combined with Harris' powerful music, and when sung with the power and intensity that Madeleine Pierard displayed – never did the full orchestra get close to overwhelming her – this becomes a searing, unforgettable document in music." (Ross Harris Symphony No. 2 with the NZSO)
The Dominion Post, 22 April 2016
Die Schöpfung - Haydn (NZSO/Nicholas McGegan)
"Madeleine Pierard was totally assured in her demanding arias, smiling appropriately as she sang "The marv'llous work behold amaz'd" and beaming up to an unflurried top C. Doves cooed with florid sweetness when she ornamented her "On Mighty Pens" and Haydn's "soft enchanting lays" were all the more so, with the mezzo burnish of her voice.”
The New Zealand Herald, 1 September 2014
“Madeleine Pierard was consistently radiant in the dual roles of Gabriel and Eve, somehow making the cruel coloratura of many of her numbers sound joyous; the tricky ascent to the high C in her opening number was marvellous. She introduced much tasteful decoration in the repeats with the melismas on ‘cooing’ in “On mighty pens” so ravishing time seemed to stand still. One could sense a careful contrast between the two roles; dignified radiance for Gabriel and a more charming sweetness for Eve.”
Bachtrack, 1 September 2014
“Then came the first entry of soprano Madeleine Pierard with Gabriel’s spectacular celebratory aria, supported by the massed angelic chorus. Her clarity of notes and diction at speed, and beautifully shaped phrases, were quite breath-taking and set a technical and musical standard that she maintained unwaveringly for the rest of the performance.”
Frances Robinson, Middle C, 29 August 2014
Cssa DI FOLLEVILLE
Il viaggio a Reims - Rossini (The Royal Opera,UK, Rustioni)
"Madeleine Pierard, soprano from New Zealand and a current Young Artist, was fabulous as the fashion-victim monster, the Contessa de Folleville, blessed with a voice of glittering, secure virtuosity and volume as well as an imposing, not to say intimidating presence."
The Classical Source, 21 July 2012
"The other seriously impressive contribution came from Madeleine Pierard: whether singing or not, she communicated temperament, style and personality, and her ample, flexible soprano has a spark."
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 22 July 2012
"Pierard conveyed the Countess of Folleville's fashion fixation with a nice line in irony and strong technical address"
George Hall, The Guardian UK, 22 July 2012
"Somewhat more consistent was New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard, who just keeps on gaining confidence and technical prowess. Tonight she showed this in her role as La Contessa di Folleville... It wasn’t just her diva-ish red dress and diamante necklace which dazzled, but also convincing acting and the ability to make fiendish passages seem unlaboured"
Katy Austin, Bachtrack, 21 July 2012
"Pierard sang the Contessa di Folleville, a fashion-crazy French aristocrat whose reaction to her wardrobe disaster – her luggage is destroyed on its journey to the inn – immediately elicits laughter from the audience....Pierard’s Contessa di Folleville was also gutsy. ‘Partir, oh ciel! desio’ had plenty of fioritura on display.. it rightly drew warm applause."
Mark Pullinger, Opera Britannia, 21 July 2012
"Madeleine Pierard dominated the first half as the slinky, fashion-obsessed ninny (the sort the Revolution was supposed to have put paid to), La Contessa di Folleville, who could faint at the mere mention of wardrobe malfunction and suffers a good deal more over the loss of her luggage. While some artists were more score-bound, Pierard’s was a fully-formed and riveting performance."
Simon Thomas – What's On Stage, 21 July 2012
"Madeleine Pierard, as La Contessa di Folleville, got one of the work’s best known numbers, the countess’s large scale tragic aria bewailing the loss of her hats. Pierard did Rossini the compliment of taking the piece entirely seriously, which made it all the more hilarious as Pierard’s stylish roulades cascaded out. Rossini used his grand tragic manner in this aria. Pierard has a big dramatic voice and used it brilliantly...she brought style and vibrancy to the piece."
Robert Hugill – Opera Today, 21 July 2012
"With eighteen solo parts this is quite something to put on, but when Madeleine Pierard came on as the French Countess, concerned about the apparent absence of her fine clothes, the performance moved superbly into high gear. She was wonderfully expressive, her coloratura excellent and her voice effortlessly changing amplitude."
Mark Ronan, Theatre Reviews, 21 July 2012
La Boheme - Puccini (NZ Opera, Pasqualetti/Nolan)
“Madeleine Pierard all but steals the show as bob-cut beauty Musetta, tottering around in sky-high heels.”Cityscape Christchurch, 16 July 2014
SIBELIUS / NZSO
Sibelius 'Luonnotar' Op.70 with the NZ Sympyony Orchestra under Gemma New
"Somewhere between song and symphonic poem, there is certainly something primeval about its weird, craggy vocal lines and swirling orchestral figures. Madeleine Pierard surmounted its challenges easily, expertly placing the vocal line’s demanding intervals and soaring up to a high C-flat without any strain. With New and orchestra providing a suitably agitated underpinning, Pierard’s vocalisms evoked brilliantly the anguish of the character."
Simon Holden for Bachtrack, 29 Oct 2023
"Madeleine Pierard, more soberly gowned than on the pastoral poster, was riveting, her burnished soprano, with more than a hint of mezzo to it, riding the work’s two octave range without any strain. Her animated presentation of its dramatic legend must have many wishing that they could see its English translation in an old-fashioned hold-in-the-hand programme."
William Dart for NZ Herald, 31 Oct 2023
"Luonnotar, by Sibelius, was powerfully sung by soprano Madeleine Pierard. Her voice has gained rich depths; her control and dramatic gravitas explored in retelling this compelling Finnish creation story created a mesmerising performance."
Marion Poole for Otago Daily Times, 6 Nov 2023
"The strings set off at urgent pace before soprano Madeleine Pierard started to sing her narrative of the Finnish creation story. A demanding piece by all accounts but absolutely no trouble for Pierard. Her voice is stunning, and she made apparently light work of the difficult leaps and incredible range."
Tamsin Evans for Regional News, 30 Oct 2023
Giustino - Legrenzi (Pinchgut Opera, Sydney - Bryant/Helyard)
"Soprano Madeleine Pierard, as the twice-captured Arianna, had a voice of enamelled lustre, radiant in majestic moments and breathlessly deft in quick passagework." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
Peter McCallum for Sydney Morning Herald, 26 May 2023
"Madeleine Pierard’s Arianna is a regal presence; her final virtuosic aria is a brilliant end to the production." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Shamistha de Soysa for Limelight Magazine, 26 May 2023
"The cast for Giustino is magnificent, both vocally and theatrically. The prima donna, Madeleine Pierard commanded the stage, and her imperial voice finely calculated the space between regality and love."
Nicholas Routley for Australian Stage, 27 May 2023
"This production also famously features three countertenors in Tamagna, Willetts and Harcourt. Such an extravagance of soaring voices might be overwhelming – particularly Nicholas Tamagna whose sonorous tones are uncommonly rich and rounded – if it were not for Madeleine Pierard’s commanding power and exquisite voice."
Diana Simmons for Stage Noise, 27 May 2023
Turn of the Screw - Britten (NZ Opera, Mathieson)
"Madeleine Pierard was luxury casting as the ghost of the children's former governess, a constant but indefinable presence. Her attractive flicker-vibrato and full-toned singing turned the bitter argument between her and Quint into a vocal, as well as a dramatic, highlight."
Simon Holden for Bachtrack, 20 October 2019
"The ghosts, Jared Holt and Madeleine Pierard, created an ambiguous and corrupting atmosphere and their “Ceremony of Innocence” scene was a tour-de-force. Both have excellent text and are strong personalities on stage."
Radio NZ Concert, 04 October 2019
"<There was> fabulous dramatic colour from Madeleine Pierard as Miss Jessel with power and expression all through her extensive range."
Clare Martin for Radio13, 18 October 2019
Idomeneo -Mozart (Buxton Festival, Kok/Medcalf)
"Dressed in shocking pink, Madeleine Pierard sang a terrific, spitfire Elettra, a fearless performance as the spurned love interest. With a warm vibrato, she produced a bitter chocolate darkness to her lower register – the darkest of the female voices on display this afternoon – allied to convincing acting."
Mark Pullinger for Bachtrack, 08 July 2018
"Madeleine Pierard is magnificently cast as Elettra. Her tone opens out to flashlight brilliance at the top of her register, while she sculpts phrases with such elegance that you really do get that sense of a personality about to crack. Pacing majestically about the stage in her magenta ballgown (costumes – vaguely 1920s, vaguely middle eastern banana republic – were by Bywaters too) she created some of the evening’s most haunting visual images, culminating in a final, troubling, disappearance from the stage as the chorus celebrated the statutory edifying ending."
The Arts Desk, 09 July 2018
"Madeleine Pierard made a powerful Elettra, and thankfully she got all three of her arias. Pierard gave a performance of rare intensity and depth which lit up the stage, whether Elettra was joyful or furious, and showed what was lacking some other areas of the production. Pierard's Elettra was not simply a classic dramatic soprano performance, her middle aria was finely fluid and flexible, but in both the outer arias she brought real fire and steel to the voice, whilst nailing the coloratura. There was vivid drama too, not just in the terrific final accompanied recitative, but in the second Act where Pierard was delightful joyful about her love of Idamante."
Planet Hugill, 09 July 2018
"Madeleine Pierard’s sassy, charismatic Elettra, a Greek princess who wants Idamante for herself, is a show-stopping sensation, bristling with passion and bitterness. "
Theatre Cat, 09 July 2018
Erwartung - Schoenberg (Shadwell Opera, Downie-Dear/Furness)
"Pierard’s performance was mesmerising: on top of Schoenberg’s fiendish vocal challenges, and with every facial and body movement signalling a different micro-facet of inner turmoil."
The Times UK, 7 November 2016
"Madeleine Pierard, a regular at Covent Garden since her stint on thge Jette Parker between 2010-12, threw herself into the role of The Woman, with a big passionate voice and plenty of borderline hysteria in Jack Furness's small-scale staging, which echoed the piece's expressionism with a wordless actor, dark lights and a stylised prison."
Opera Now Magazine, January 2017
La Traviata - Verdi (NZ Opera, Davies/Cherry
"As the Violetta, the New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard gave a superb performance. In Act One, as a successful worldly courtesan, her rich voice and powerful stage presence added realism to the role of an expensive heartbreaker, as she glided through Traviata's familiar but testing solo arias with polished panache. But Pierard's extraordinary skill and sensitivity in the role was such that in the final act, she physically became a heartbreakingly frail woman, wandering through the wreckage of her life to confront death with a mixture of terror, courage and resignation."
The Press (NZ), 15 July 2016
"Violetta herself is wonderfully cast and superbly executed. Madeleine Pierard brings not only coloratura but dramatic soprano skills, running, lighting and shading with ease, adding an earthy, chocolatey texture which perfectly embodies the grit and determination of Violetta, and the actual person in Verdi’s life upon whom her character is based. Pierard glides effortlessly through the notes, displaying spectacular breath control. Her sure grasp and ductile steel thread perfectly suit the character, yet when called upon to fade physically in act three she convincingly and astutely pales and shrinks, spinning her voice around the thread of a note while navigating the waves of energy and depletion on which Violetta is tossed as her life ends. Bravo."
The Opera Critic Reviews, 14 July 2016
"But the night rightly belongs to Madeleine Pierard. Her honest portrayal of the richly nuanced character of Violetta oozes charm and easy sensuality from her first entry. Her portrayal makes it immediately understandable that Violetta would have been a great success as a courtesan; the audience falls in love with her at once. Pierard owns the first act as a woman totally in charge, and it's not just her exquisite red dress that keep all eyes on Violetta as the opening act party progresses, it's her confidence and self-assurance as a woman that are captivating: Violetta is a boss.
This magnetism engages the audience completely and so we care deeply as we see her sacrifice her love for Alfredo to ensure the happiness of his family, and we rejoice in her brief moments of happiness before her inevitable demise in Act III.
But let's not forget Pierard's vocal performance. Violetta is a demanding role, showcasing all of the beautiful vocal colours she has to offer. Her musicality, crystalline high notes, impressive dynamic range, and her flexibility and command over the coloratura passages are outstanding. The spoken word sections are equally impressive, richly and convincingly expressed. To single out one aria would not do her justice; her whole performance is completely controlled, yet at the same time impassioned and ardent."
Theatreview, 15 July 2016
Messiah - Handel, various performances
'I fancy I’ve witnessed at least three, and perhaps even four “Messiah” performances featuring soprano Madeleine Pierard, each of them displaying the singer’s brilliance and interpretative powers in their varied contexts of the different conductors’ realisations...Pierard’s singing here certainly had a comparable “charge” to my ears, and her approach to the music demonstrated a distinctive and well-focused interpretative viewpoint, as do all great performances."
(Handel's Messiah - NZSO, McGegan)
Middle C/Radio NZ, 08 December 2018
Madeleine Pierard is no stranger to recent Messiahs, but this was surely her finest singing yet."
(Handel's Messiah - NZSO, Abbott)
The Dominion Post, 15 December 2016
“Soprano Madeleine Pierard commanded the highest admiration from her first recitatives, with her unfailingly incisive phrasing and steadfast intonation. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion dispensed joy at a clip that would have had Handel's toes tapping, with some daring decorations. Later, the singer soared effortlessly to a top B flat while embellishing He shall feed His flock.”
(Handel’s Messiah – Auckland Choral Society, NZ)
The New Zealand Herald, 17 December 2014
“I’ve already waxed lyrical about Madeleine Pierard’s singing in general terms – suffice to say that I have never been more convinced of the efficacy of belief in salvation than when listening to her ineffably moving ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’. Without cheapening the effect of the music in any way she choreographed her words and associated feelings by the use of her whole body, turning this way and that so as to include almost everybody present within the sweep of her gaze, but doing so in a way that seemed to grow entirely from the music and the belief that it was expressing. Elsewhere, her coloratura singing galvanized our responses to the music in a different, more spectacularly brilliant way, but always placed entirely at the composer’s service – ‘Rejoice greatly’ swept us along amidst an irresistible tide of joyous expectation, with virtuosity of an astonishing order. One can easily imagine people saying, in years to come, “Ah, but you should have been there when Madeleine Pierard……”
(Handel’s Messiah – NZSO) Peter Mechen,
Seen and Heard International, 13 December 2014
“Pierard’s incisive technique made mincemeat of numbers like ‘Rejoice greatly’, where she was in full coloratura flight that was frankly riveting”
(Handel’s Messiah – NZSO)
Frances Robinson, Middle C, 13 December 2014
Louise - Charpentier, (Buxton Festival, Barlow)
"In the title role Madeleine Pierard sang with a lovely sheen and brought allure to the one showpiece aria, 'Depuis le jour'"
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 17 July 2015
"In the title role, Madeleine Pierard was wonderful. A rich, warm, secure voice with a tone as golden as her evening dress, she sang with an attention to words and mood that was exemplary. In concert performances there’s nothing to help you – no sets, no costumes, no props – just a nice frock and your voice, and Pierard gave Louise’s demanding, occasionally petulant nature a terrific interpretation."
Andrew King, Bachtrack, 17 July 2015
"Madeleine Pierard delivered beautifully, bringing a lyrical intensity to the role and a real sense of Louise's interior life. Depuis le jour was poised, her duet with Adrian Dwyer's Julien rapturous, and she rounded on Michael Druiett's father with real viciousness."
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 22 July 2015
"Madeleine Pierard in the eponymous role of his lover who strains away from the dominance of her parents towards Paris and the Bohemian life was a veritable tour de force in respect of vocal variety, dramatic nuance and good diction."
Robert Farr, Seen and Heard International, 19 July 2015
"The Northern Chamber Orchestra responded with both ardour and delicacy, only very occasionally – in the throes of passion – overwhelming the voices on stage. Not that there was any risk of that with Madeleine Pierard. Her voice, in common with that of Adrian Dwyer as her bohemian lover Julien, has a youthful freshness that’s perfect for this role, but it can also open out, on the heights, into a great glowing arc of sound."
Richard Bratby, The Arts Desk, 27 July 2015
Jette Parker Young Artist Summer Performance, The Royal Opera House, London
"After wonderfully imperious vignettes as Fiordiligi and Donna Anna, New Zealand soprano, Madeleine Pierard was more restrained as Musetta but my focus still remained on her when she was on stage. I couldn’t understand why this was until I realised who she reminded me so strongly of physically and vocally … Angela Gheorghiu!"
(JPYA Summer Showcase, The Royal Opera House)
Seen and Heard International, 30 June 2012
"If this had been a knockout competition rather than a showcase, Miss Pierard would have won the round. Both the preceding recitativo and ‘Per pietà’ itself offered her ample scope to show off both her vocal dexterity and the way she uses her broad palette of tone colours to convey emotion. This soprano is clearly a rising international star with huge potential. The voice is almost too big for Mozart, but Miss Pierard is so versatile that she modulates and controls her manifest ability to project over a Strauss orchestra in accordance with the stylistic demands of each role. Her Fiordiligi, Donna Anna and Musetta were three very different people, each convincing in their way. It was however her rendition of ‘Per pietà’ which made me wish I hadn’t missed her as Lisa in La sonnambula. How nice to hear a bel canto singer who produces a beautiful sound even when standing on her head at the top of a helter-skelter.”
(JPYA Summer Showcase, The Royal Opera House)
Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia, 7 July 2012