International soprano Madeline Pierard is home in New Zealand to create a specialised opera studio based at Waikato University.
The studio headed by her will mean an academic course in music to an international standard.
As the first tutor, she takes the inaugural role as the Dame Malvina Major Chair in opera.
“It is a role that really ignites my passion.’’
She laughs when she said while waiting, waiting, waiting in London to come home she never thought she’d be in Hamilton.
“I mean it’s a very, very strange transition.’’
Waiting it out in London seemed to go on forever, she said.
She was planning to have her youngest child Ruby born in July last year, in New Zealand.
“What amazes me here is how some people here don’t realise how great it is compared to the rest of the world. People all over the world talk about how amazing the New Zealand government has been. I just don’t understand when people here moan about it …it’s weird.’’
She is at the New Zealand Opera School in a professorial role which mean students can request special tuition with her.
Along with baritone Julian van Mellaerts she has organised help online for all the kiwi singers stranded in London where the pandemic has left so many high and dry.
‘Many of them are suffering from isolation and depression…there’s no work and they can’t get home and for most of them their families are in New Zealand.
So far their push for help has managed to give each of them $2000, she said.
Madeline is hoping to return to London to sing by September this year at the Royal Opera House
Her extraordinary lyric soprano voice is in great demand and she is anxious that the arts will start to move again.
“It’s been a bleak time for artists, it really has.’’
And because she is an insomniac she has set up a dedicated website called Diva Kitchen which showcases her sculptural cakes.
‘I love icing cakes, the more complicated the better.’’
And she nearly made it onto the Great British Bake Off, she laughs.
So 3am in her tiny “very ordinary” kitchen she creates glorious cakes from one of the Royal House to tumbling roses, leaves and other floral masterpieces.
“Very weird I know but great fun.’’.”