Reviews, articles and interviews
Songs from the Stage
'Dunedin's Glenroy auditorium was filled with family, friends and fans recently when soprano Sophie Morris gave her biggest gig to date. Sophie, a University of Otago voice graduate who has studied both classical and contemporary techniques, is working hard to establish a career in popular music. Two sell-out nights of 'Sophie Goes to Broadway” earlier this year were definitely a good start, and a debut album has just been released. After an introduction from MC Dr Ian Chapman, Sophie came onstage to introduce her pianist and Musical Director, Alexandra Wiltshire, then compered the evening, introducing musicians and songs with a friendly “girl you know well” style, complemented by beautiful blonde tresses and stunning dresses. One of Puccini's most famous arias, O mio Babbino Caro, and On My Lips Every Kiss is Like Wine by Lehar opened the programme, then about a dozen commercial and popular music theatre favourites were received with long resounding applause and a final standing ovation. Some highlights were a very sincere rendering of Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Love Never Dies with effective string accompaniment and Time to Say Goodbye. Humour came with Oh Henry!, a contemporary song about infatuation with a candy bar. Wiltshire is well known for her pianistic, arranging and conducting skills. Her accompaniment for O Holy Night was outstanding and, directed well-balanced backings which were diverse and individually appropriate for the various styles. Dancers Megan Williams and Kane Welsh added visual aspect and vocalists Ben Madden and Lani Alo joined Sophie in duets for The Prayer (Madden) and Falling Slowly (Alo)'
Otago Daily Times, 2018 – from “Jass Cafe lets locals show and flex talent"
“It also gave a glorious opportunity for local jazz groups to flex and display their talents. Most notable of these was Sophie Morris. Her relaxed professionalism and vocal control delivered some stunning numbers which wowed the audience. Eva Cassidy’s ‘Songbird’, ‘All That Jazz’ and Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ gave marvelous avenues for Morris’ dramatic drive and well rounded tone”.
Into the Woods
Theatreview, 2017 – from “Into the Woods - Uniformly Dazzling
‘Skillington's great comic timing, as she threatens those who mess with her greens (especially the beans), means she is as funny as she is frightening. It is the poignancy of her relationship with her adopted daughter that brings a lump to the throat however. ‘Our Little World', her duet with Rapunzel (songbird Sophie Morris, sweet in heavenly blue) is a highlight for me, expressing all the heartache of parents who try in vain to hold onto their children..’
Among the Stars
Marian Poole, Otago Daily Times, 2016 – from “Brass shines and voices sparkle in firmament”
‘Sophie Morris’ performances just keep on getting better. She now has an impressive voice range and stylistic range, going effortlessly from the belle canto required in Dvorak’s Rusalka’s Song to the Moon and Puccini’s O mio babbino caro to Bernstein’s soaring Somewhere, Webber’s guttural Memory and Kander and Ebb’s raunchy All That Jazz. Morris is definitely the ascendant star.’
Rob White, The Wanaka Sun, 2017 - from "Review: Taking a Chance on Mamma Mia!"
‘...the opening number, I Have a Dream, leading into Honey Honey sung to perfection starring Sophie Morris as Sophie Sheridan... and as the story of one girl with three possible fathers panned out, it was clear to see the show would be high on energy, tempo and entertainment... The vocals were strong throughout...with Morris and Tiffany Mitchell (Donna Sheridan) leading from the front...’
Elizabeth Bouman, Otago Daily Times, 2017 - from "Captivating choral cycle 'Lullabies' debuts"
‘Shush-a-shush opened with organ obligato, whispered "Shushes" and calm entreaties of slumber. Little One featured soprano Sophie Morris, in very professional deliveries of long sweetly toned phrases. Penguins brought a change of style with "tiny blue penguins" scurrying about as children prepare for bed, and The Night Singers featured Morris soaring above impressive harmonic choral textures depicting sounds of the night. Beddington and Hope of My heart completed the half-hour cycle, which was highlighted throughout with colourful organ accompaniment."
Grease: The Arena Spectacular LIVE
Brenda Harwood, Theatre Review, 2016
'In the lead roles of Sandy and Danny, Sophie Morris and Samuel Armstrong achieve a nice chemistry, forming a focal point amid a lot of stage business and winning audience sympathy. Both move well and are in very fine voice indeed - with particular stand-out moments in ‘Summer Nights' (duo), ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You' (Morris), and ‘Sandy' (Armstrong).'
Recital - Arts Festival Dunedin
The Otago Daily Times, October 2014
‘Morris’ voice is remarkably rich, with good control throughout the range’
RSA Choir Town Hall Concert
The Otago Daily Times, December 2014
‘Several choir items, such as Scarborough Fair and Thank You My Lord were particularly enhanced by Sophie Morris, this year’s RSA Choir Scholar … The clarity of tone and beauty of the young soprano’s voice was also stunning in her bracket of solos with pianist Tom McGrath, particularly in three songs by New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn.’
‘Sophie Morris, another emerging artist with pure clear tone, confident technique and an endearing stage manner, performed two Mozart arias and a Britten solo How Sweet the Answer.’
‘Sophie Morris joined the choir for There is a Balm in Gilead, and a beautiful delivery of Nun’s Chorus (Strauss), where soprano obligato soared secure and true above the choral harmonies. Morris also performed impressively with a bracket of songs accompanied by Tom McGrath.’
Album: Sophie Morris
- Songs from the Stage
Geoff Adams, The Classics: Otago Daily Times, 2017 - from "Sophie Morris: Songs from the Stage. Sophie Morris (soprano). CD"
'The 10 tracks recorded in this debut album were recorded at the University of Otago's Albany St recording studios (with local musicians backing). The disc will be available in stores and online late next month. Classical fans could prefer bigger emphasis on serious works, but Morris now has her eyes on the spotlights of show business (after starring in Grease and many other local productions). "Middle of the road" listeners with catholic tastes also can enjoy light and popular music and will appreciate here a great soprano voice, nicely in tune. Morris was aptly described as an "ascendant star" when she sand Dvorak's Song to the Moon in ethereal fashion at a recent Knox Church concert. She has earned a bachelor of music (first-class honours) degree in classical voice performance from Otago University, topped by a master's of music (with distinction) in contemporary voice performance (in addition to a B.Com). After years of classical training, Morris diversified into classical crossover and musical theatre, and shows her versatility and style in both styles, a rare "ground-breaker". The CD salutes classical tastes with Adam's O Holy Night and Morricone's Nella Fantasia as final tracks. Preceding items include Andrew Lloyd Webber's Don't Cry For Me Argentina and other well-known songs. Morris' performance with pyrotechnics of Girl in 14G (composed by Jeanine Tesori) is a real jazzy joy. Other tracks are Meadowlark, It Might As Well Be Spring, Love Never Dies, The Light in the Piazza, Another Life and Stars and the Moon. Verdict: True stage voice. A star in the making.'
Newshub interviews Sophie Morris on a national tour with The Ten Tenors.
Sophie Morris catches up with Damian Newall on The Breeze and sings 'Songbird' live on air.
The guests bought tickets to the event and all of the $11,000 raised will go towards shortening the centre’s six-week waiting list for families in need of support. Singer Sophie Morris donated her time and voice to sing in what's arguably one of New Zealand’s most picturesque spots.
Otago Daily Times
Finding Her Own Voice
Performing Gretl in The Sound of Music ignited Sophie Morris’s love of singing. She tells Rebecca Fox about juggling her love of show tunes with opera.