Matthew Polenzani

Tenor

Biography

Tenor Matthew Polenzani is one of the most gifted and distinguished lyric tenors of his generation. His elegant musicianship, innate sense of style and dramatic commitment find him at virtually every leading operatic, concert and recital venue in the world.

Matthew Polenzani’s 2016/17 season opens with his return to the Bavarian Staatsoper for a new production of Donizetti’s La Favorite. On the same stage, the tenor is also Rodolfo and Tamino in the revivals of La Bohème and Die Zauberflöte. The Metropolitan Opera in New York has been, and continues to be his artistic home, and he returns there to star in the productions of Idomeneo, Der Rosenkavalier (staging by Robert Carsen) and Don Giovanni. Moreover, in Chicago he will be Tamino in Die Zauberföte at the Lyric Opera. In concert, Matthew Polenzani joins the New York Philharmonic for Händel’s Messiah and he sings Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn at the Canergie Hall in New York.

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Reviews

“American tenor Matthew Polenzani has perhaps the finest tenor voice of his generation, and he sang with aristocratic elegance and potency.”

Lloyd Schwartz

Boston Phoenix

“[…] the greatest joy of the performance was Matthew Polenzani’s thrillingly sung Nadir, as much the musical heart of this production as Caruso was in his Pêcheurs. Polenzani’s unaffected sincerity, scrupulous musicianship and unfailing vocal beauty have made him a valuable member of the Met roster for almost two decades; his versatility and his reliability have been equally impressive, season after season. Nadir is a perfect role for Polenzani, who delivered a breakout performance. Nadir’s principal arias—including a show-stopping “Je crois entendre encore”—were sung with surpassing delicacy and refinement, and the two big duets were attacked with ear-catching ardor.”

F. Paul Driscoll

Opera News

More Reviews

“American tenor Matthew Polenzani has perhaps the finest tenor voice of his generation, and he sang with aristocratic elegance and potency.”

Lloyd Schwartz, Boston Phoenix

“[…] the greatest joy of the performance was Matthew Polenzani’s thrillingly sung Nadir, as much the musical heart of this production as Caruso was in his Pêcheurs. Polenzani’s unaffected sincerity, scrupulous musicianship and unfailing vocal beauty have made him a valuable member of the Met roster for almost two decades; his versatility and his reliability have been equally impressive, season after season. Nadir is a perfect role for Polenzani, who delivered a breakout performance. Nadir’s principal arias—including a show-stopping “Je crois entendre encore”—were sung with surpassing delicacy and refinement, and the two big duets were attacked with ear-catching ardor.”

F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News

“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