Tenor Matthew Cairns is nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Individual at the Toronto DORA Awards for his “showstopping” (Ludwig van Toronto) performance of Macduff in the new Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Verdi’s MacBeth. The production leads the awards’ Opera division with 8 nominations including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Sir David McVicar and Outstanding Musical Direction for conductor Speranza Scappucci. The awards will be announced on June 27 at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Koerner Hall.
Hailed as a “definite highlight of the night” (Scmopera), Cairns earned universal acclaim for his extraordinary vocal talent and charismatic stage presence.
Wayne Goodin writes in Opera Canada, “As for Cairns…he triggered a lengthy outburst from the audience for his delivery of Macduff’s single aria on learning of the murder of his family. The accolade was deserved; Cairns shows promise of being on a trajectory that could reach the orbit of star Canadian Verdi tenors like Mauro, Margison and Heppner.”
“Tenor Matthew Cairns has proven many times that he’s a voice to watch,” notes Greg Finny in Schmopera.“His Macduff is no exception. His piano was so delicate yet so piercing it sounded as though he was quietly singing next to you in your seat. Then when the full voice is unleashed it’s quite a thing to experience.”
Denise Lai in La Scena Musicale agrees, writing “Matthew Cairns deserves special mention as a superb Macduff. …His ‘Ah, la paterna mano’ was sung with real pathos, his creamy voice leaves us yearning for more. Let’s hope the COC brings him back for more major roles.”
Finals winner of the 2022 Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition and a finalist in the 2022 Neue Stimmen competition, Canadian Matthew Cairns is making a name for himself as one of the most exciting tenors on the rise.
In his first year in the Lindemann Young Artists Program, Mr. Cairns makes his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Messenger in Aida and covers Bob Boles in Peter Grimes. He also sings Don José in Carmen at Des Moines Metro Opera.
As former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Mr. Cairns appeared as the Prince of Persia in Turandot, Gamekeeper in Rusalka, and is covering Alfredo in La traviata. He’s performed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Liberto in The Coronation of Poppea with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Detlef in The Student Prince at the Chautauqua Institution, where he placed first in its Sigma Alpha Iota Competition. Other roles include Count Belfiore in La finta giardiniera, Sam Kaplan in Street Scene, Sam Sharkey/Lumberjack in Paul Bunyan.
Follow Matthew Cairns on Instagram @matty_cairns