Last year I reviewed several of Opera Queensland’s individual recital showcases featuring their performers, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. There’s something wonderful about being able to see such talented singers up close, rather than at arm’s length in a concert hall, and it’s a real delight to hear each performer’s choice of program, too.


Eva Kong. Photo courtesy of Opera Queensland

I last saw soprano Eva Kong in Opera Queensland’s fabulous production of John Adams’ A Flowering Tree , which I was absolutely enchanted by. In this recital, held in the Opera Queensland Studio in Brisbane’s South Bank, she chose a fabulous mix of mostly rather dramatic repertoire (well, just look at the title of the concert – Death Becomes Her), with some very familiar arias indeed. The theme running through the recital here is operatic death scenes (Kong says “I actually feel more alive after each death scene, with a greater appreciation for life”), but there’s a few other dramatic moments interspersed throughout, too. Accompanied by pianist Alex Raineri, this was a top-notch performance, although one structured in a rather unusual way.

We began with Kong accompanying herself on the piano in (I think) a Korean song –...