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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. Mr. Polenzani’s 14/15 season opens with his return to the Royal Opera House in London for Idomeneo, followed by productions of Les contes d’Hoffmann, led by James Levine at the Metropolitan in New York. He will be Nemorino and Tamino in L’Elisir d’Amore and Die Zauberflöte at Bayerische Staatsoper along with his debut at the Opernhaus Zurich, in La Traviata. On the concert platform, he appears in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Riccardo Muti, he sings the Verdi Requiem at La Scala, under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, and sings a New Year’s concert with Maria Agresta at Teatro La Fenice, Venezia, conducted by Daniel Harding. He will also tour the States for a series of Recitals with pianist Julius Drake, with whom he will also perform in Recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, and will sing Schubert’s Die Schöne Mü

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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.

Mr. Polenzani’s 14/15 season opens with his return to the Royal Opera House in London for Idomeneo, followed by productions of Les contes d’Hoffmann, led by James Levine at the Metropolitan in New York. He will be Nemorino and Tamino in L’Elisir d’Amore and Die Zauberflöte at Bayerische Staatsoper along with his debut at the Opernhaus Zurich, in La Traviata. On the concert platform, he appears in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Riccardo Muti, he sings the Verdi Requiem at La Scala, under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, and sings a New Year’s concert with Maria Agresta at Teatro La Fenice, Venezia, conducted by Daniel Harding. He will also tour the States for a series of Recitals with pianist Julius Drake, with whom he will also perform in Recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, and will sing Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin accompanied by pianist Ken Noda with Parlance Chamber Concerts.

The 13/14 season saw Mr. Polenzani’s return to the Metropolitan Opera in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and in Verdi’s Rigoletto. He was Massenet’s Des Grieux in Laurent Pelly’s production of Manon at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and he was Tito in David McVicar’s production of La Clemenza di Tito at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The tenor made his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Berlioz’s Faust, and then returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper for I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

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 (issued on DVD by Erato), Willy Decker’s production of La traviata, Julie Taymor’s legendary Die Zauberflöte (DVD available from the Metropolitan Opera), Jürgen Flimm’s production of Salome  and revivals of Don Pasquale (issued on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon), Don Giovanni, Roméo et Juliette, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Falstaff, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (DVD also available from Deutsche Grammophon)and L’Italiana in Algeri. To date, he has sung over 300 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 Zauberflöte with 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 include productions of Don Pasquale and La traviata at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, the Aix en Provence Festival (DVD available on Bel Air Classiques) and on a tour of Japan with Turin’s Teatro Regio; 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  (DVD available on EuroArts).
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 del 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 (available on CD from the Wigmore Hall label), 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 Vanished at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and in recital at the Verbier Festival with pianist Roger Vignoles (commercially available on CD on VAI). Mr. Polenzani was honored to have appeared on all three stages of Carnegie Hall in one season: 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 Renée Fleming, Anne Sofie Von Otter, 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.

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Photos

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Reviews

"Mr. Polenzani is coming into his prime. Though he still has youthful sweetness in his voice, in recent years he has been singing with increasing ardor, richness and power. He holds back nothing here. Yet in the great aria “Una furtiva lagrima,” where Nemorino dares to believe that Adina loves him, it was Mr. Polenzani’s honeyed phrases that won your heart."

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"Matthew Polenzani had secured the biggest ovation of the evening with his gorgeously phrased “Una furtiva lagrima”."

Manuela Hoeterhoff, Bloomberg Businessweek

"Matthew Polenzani had a stellar night as an emotional Alfredo, his lovely voice strong and supple and his graceful phrasing laudable in his passionate rendition of “De’ miei bollenti spiriti.”"

Vivien Shweitzer, The New York Times

"Matthew Polenzani made a thrilling Belmonte with his clear, ringing, pitch-perfect Mozart tenor."

The Oakland Tribune, Cheryl North

"Tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake gave a thoroughly transporting performance of Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin on April 3 at Alice Tully Hall. Polenzani sang with glowing sound, delivering melting pianissimos, soaring climaxes, firm diction and complete dramatic commitment. His emotional response to the music rang with an authenticity that made the evening feel more like an intimate personal confession than a grand performance. The combination of Polenzani's naturally open and personable demeanor with the elegance of his singing went a long way toward reconciling the naïveté of poet Wilhelm Müller's bucolic protagonist with the sophistication of Schubert's musical insights."

Opera News, Joanne Sidney Lessner

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Discography