'Between Darkness and Light' paired Wellington soprano Jenny Wollerman with Michael Houstoun in a captivating recital of spellbinding beauty and depth. Tony rabbit's inspired lighting and set design transformed the Lake Wanaka Centre's functional stage to a place of timeless style, a portal to another world where music and poetry could work their magic with seductive ease. This was an exquisite theatrical recital, beautifully and expressively rendered with both power and restraint by performers at the top of their game.

Nigel Zega, Otago Daily Times, 18 April 2013
Between Darkness and Light, Wanaka Festival of Colour 2013



The highlight of last night's concert was the world premiere of Jenny McLeod's He Whakaahua o Maru, a portrait of Maru, a song cycle for soprano, flute and piano. The work was commissioned by Jenny Wollerman with funding from Creative New Zealand. Wollerman is renowned for her willingness to embrace new works and this piece was ideally suited to her voice. She has dramatic flair and an uncanny ability to grasp an audience with her range of narrative styles. Add this to McLeod's composition and poetry and you have a masterpiece.

Ruth Allison, Nelson Mail, 7 Feb 2013
'He Whakaahua a Maru', Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson 2013



...the main item in the programme was He Whakaahua a Maru, a 15-song cycle of waiata set by Jenny McLeod. The poems were written in Maori (by the composer) and their musical setting by a composer with a lifetime of immersion in Maori language and culture… Soprano Jenny Wollerman, who had earlier sung arias from Bach cantatas, sang them with powerful conviction, accompanied by pianist Emma Sayers and flutist Karen Batten. Wollerman and her two colleagues displayed...a sympathy and understanding that is probably unsurpassed. Wollerman's voice is in excellent shape and seems more than ever to be an idiomatic vehicle for the expression of the violent as well as the tender emotions called up in this sequence.

Lindis Taylor, Middle-C

'He Whakaahua a Maru', Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson 2013



...These concerts always offer an almost complete tasting of Bach. Jenny Wollerman sang three arias from the Cantatas - 'Höchster, mache deine Güte' (BWV 51), 'Meine Seele sei vergnügt' (BWV 204), 'Bete aber auch dabei' (BWV 115). Though none of them is really among the most familiar arias, all came engagingly to life from her voice that strikes me now as free, attractive and comfortable not only in the middle but also in the highest register.

Lindis Taylor, Middle-C
Bach by Candlelight, Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson 2013



Mahler's 4th from 15 musicians... Often the small ensemble proved a perfectly splendid vehicle for the music ...and in the last movement Wollerman's beautifully placed voice created an experience that the full orchestra might scarcely have bettered.

Lindis Taylor, Middle-C
Mahler 4th Symphony, Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson 2013




Soprano Jenny Wollerman shone in a gorgeously sung O mio babbino caro and made a languorous Summertime absolutely her own. The Brindisi from La Traviata, and a mellifluous luxuriant blend of Medlyn and Wollerman in the Lakme 'Flower Duet' completed the vocal numbers.

Garth Wilshere, Opera News, April 2009
Summer Symphony at the Basin, March 2009 with Vector Wellington Orchestra



Wollerman is singing better than ever, singing on her own in Cantatas 36 and 58; her voice is very attractive, with just enough character to lend proper discretion to these religious works. It is technically very secure, keenly focused and even in articulation throughout her range.

Lindis Taylor, Opera News, May 2009
Bach by Candlelight, Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson, January 2009



Wellington soprano Jenny Wollerman is too little heard in her home town - many of the songs that she sang, by Mozart and Schubert, were familiar, but the experience of hearing them sung with such intelligence and charm, and so delicately accompanied by young Bulgarian Petya Mihneva was like hearing them for the first time.

Lindis Taylor, Opera News, April 2009
Wanganui Spring Music Festival, September 2008, with Petya Mihneva


Then came Ross Harris's new song cycle, The Floating Bride, The Crimson Village, settings of poems by Vincent O'Sullivan that were inspired by paintings of Chagall; a project that Harris had himself suggested to O'Sullivan. They were sung most skilfully and imaginatively by Jenny Wollerman whose discreet gestures and body movement - in The Dancer for example - helped her interpretation.

Lindis Taylor, Opera News, May 2009
The Floating Bride concert, Adam Chamber Music Festival, January 2009 , Nelson, with Piers Lane


We next heard Jenny Wollerman singing three songs each by Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny. Her songs were charming enough, as sung with simple clarity by Wollerman, but they lacked the assurance and polished melodic and expressive genius of her brother. They included Frage, Die Liebende schreibt and ended with the very fine Suleika, with its genuine ecstatic quality which Wollerman expressed with conviction.

Lindis Taylor, Opera News, May 2009
Mendelssohn and More I concert, Adam Chamber Music Festival, February 2009, Nelson, with Piers Lane


Immediately after the interval, Jenny Wollerman, soprano, accompanied by Lane, sang six songs, three written by Fanny Hensel, Mendelssohn's sister, and three by Mendelssohn. It was a great idea to hand out sheets of English translations from the German, and helped enormously in appreciating the singer's interpretation of the lyrics. For me, the loveliest of Fanny's songs was 'Sehnsucht/Longing' and it was tenderly sung by Wollerman, who also gave us a fine rendition of Mendelssohn's 'Die Liebende Schreibt/The Beloved Writes'.

Gail Tresidder, The Nelson Mail, January 2009 /
Mendelssohn and More I concert, Adam Chamber Music Festival, February 2009, Nelson, with Piers Lane


These programmes are chosen with keen instinct: some less known, but much that a general audience recognises, like Jenny Wollerman's 'Summertime' and Helen Medlyn's 'Don't Cry For Me, Argentina', both of which found their singers in singularly expressive voice.

Lindis Taylor, The Dominion Post
Summer Symphony at the Basin, March 2009 with Vector Wellington Orchestra


The main work was a performance of Ross Harris's song cycle The Floating Bride, The Crimson Village (settings of words by Vincent O'Sullivan, inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall, with the final song setting words by Marc Chagall himself). These are quirky poems set in Harris' distinctive style. All were beautifully sung by soprano Jenny Wollerman. This is a significant addition to song cycle repertoire. Wollerman's lovely soprano caught all the moods, and Emma Sayers was the perfect accompanist. They made a formidable team.

Garth Wilshere, Capital Times
NZ School of Music Lunchtime Concert, March 2009, with Emma Sayers

Reviews page last updated 14 September 2013