Matthew Polenzani, tenor
One of the most gifted and distinguished lyric tenors of his generation, Matthew Polenzani has been praised for the artistic versatility and fresh lyricism that he brings to concert and operatic appearances on leading international stages. This season Mr. Polenzani returned to the Metropolitan Opera in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, conducted by James Levine, and in Verdi’s Rigoletto, opposite Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Alexandra Kurzak. He is Massenet’s Des Grieux in Laurent Pelly’s production ofManon at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and he makes his role debut as Tito in David McVicar’s production of La Clemenza di Tito at Lyric Opera of Chicago, opposite Joyce DiDonato. The tenor makes his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin opposite Elina Garanca and Ildebrando D’arcangelo, as Berlioz’sFaust, under the baton of Sir Donald Runnicles. He then returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper for I Capuleti e I Montecchi, with Elina Garanca as Romeo, and Riccardo Frizza conducting. Concert appearances include Britten’s Serenade for Tenor and Horn with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, and with the LA Philharmonic in La Traviata, with Gustavo Dudamel conducting.
Among the many highlights from recent Metropolitan Opera seasons are the premieres of Bartlett Sher’s production of L’elisir d’amore, which opened the 2012 season, and David McVicar’s production of Maria Stuarda, Willy Decker’s production of La traviata, Julie Taymor’s legendary Die Zauberflöte, Jürgen Flimm’s production of Salome with Valery Gergiev, and revivals of Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni, Roméo et Juliette, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Falstaff, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and L’Italiana in Algeri. To date, he has sung over 285 performances at the Met, many conducted by his musical mentor James Levine. In other American theaters, appearances include Werther, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La traviata, Roméo et Juliette, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Die Entführung, and Il barbiere di Siviglia for San Francisco Opera, and Die Zauberflötewith James Conlon at Los Angeles Opera.
Following Matthew Polenzani’s debut as Gérald in Delibes Lakmé with Opera Bordeaux in France in 1998, appearances in other major European theatres included productions of Don Pasquale and La traviata at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, the Aix en Provence Festival (commercially available on DVD on Bel Air Classiques) and on a tour of Japan with Turin’s Teatro Reggio; I Capuleti e I Montecchi at the Paris Opera; L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Naples’ Teatro San Carlo, and Rome Opera; Così fan tutte at Covent Garden with Sir Colin Davis and in Paris with Philippe Jordan; Lucia di Lammermoor at Frankfurt Opera, the Paris Opera, and Vienna State Opera; La Damnation de Faust in Frankfurt; Manon on a tour of Japan with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Antonio Pappano; Idomeneo in Turin with Gianandrea Noseda, Manon with Fabio Luisi, and La traviata at La Scala; Rigoletto at the Vienna State Opera conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and at the Salzburg Festival in Don Giovanni in a new production by Klaus Guth, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
Mr. Polenzani is in great demand for symphonic work for the world’s most influential conductors including Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Frizza, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Louis Langrée, James Levine, Jesús López-Cobos, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Jeffrey Tate, Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, and David Zinman, and with many major orchestras both in the United States and Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Orchestra della Santa Cecilia, Orchestre National de France, Orchestra Giovanile “L. Cherubini” at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris at the Saint Denis Festival.
In recital, Matthew Polenzani has appeared in recital with Julius Drake at Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Celebrity Series Boston at Jordan Hall, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; with noted pianist Richard Goode in a presentation of Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and in recital at the Verbier Festival with pianist Roger Vignoles (commercially available on CD on VAI). In a recent season, Mr. Polenzani was honored to have appeared on all three stages of Carnegie Hall: in concert with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Zankel Hall; in solo recital with James Levine at the piano in Weill Hall; and in a Schubert Liederabend on the stage of Isaac Stern Auditorium with colleagues Dorothea Röschmann, Waltraud Meier, and René Pape, again with James Levine as pianist.
Matthew Polenzani was the recipient of the 2004 Richard Tucker Award and Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 Beverly Sills Artist Award. An avid golfer, he makes his home in suburban New York with his wife, mezzo-soprano Rosa Maria Pascarella and their three sons.