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.
In the 2012-2013 season Matthew Polenzani stars opposite Anna Netrebko in The Metropolitan Opera’s opening night gala of L'Elisir d'Amore as Nemorino.
Polenzani appears in the title role in a new San Francisco Opera production of The Tales of Hoffmann opposite long time colleague Natalie Dessay.
Lyric Opera of Chicago mounts a new production of Werther in which Polenzani will star in the title role, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
Polenzani also returns to the Wiener Staatsoper to sing the Duke in Rigoletto. Concert work includes Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmoniker. His European recital tour through Amsterdam, London, and Frankfurt will include the songs of Liszt, Ravel, Satie, and Barber.
Last season Mr. Polenzani returned to the Metropolitan Opera in Willy Decker’s critically acclaimed production of La Traviata opposite Natalie Dessay and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, conducted by Fabio Luisi. He also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in Don Giovanni, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; he performed this same work in Francesca Zambello’s production at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Matthew Polenzani also returned to La Scala in Laurent Pelly’s new production of Manon and to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to debut the title role in Nicolas Joël’s new production of Les contes d’Hoffmann, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. Concert appearances included Verdi’s Requiem at the Teatro San Carlo, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
Among the many highlights from recent Metropolitan Opera seasons are the premieres of Willy Decker’s production of La Traviata, Julie Taymor’s legendary Die Zauberflöte, Francesca Zambello’s production of Les Troyens, Jürgen Flimm’s production of Salome with Valery Gergiev, and revivals of Don Pasquale, L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni, Roméo et Juliette, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Così fan tutte, Falstaff, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and L’Italiana in Algeri.
To date, he has sung over 250 performances at the Met, many conducted by his musical mentor James Levine. In other American theaters, appearances include La Traviata, Roméo et Juliette and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Die Entführung also for San Francisco Opera, and Die Zauberflöte with James Conlon at Los Angeles Opera.
Matthew Polenzani’s career in Europe is no less important with successful appearances at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper, La Scala, and Bavarian State Opera. Other notable European appearances include engagements in Salzburg, Aix en Provence, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Frankfurt.
Mr. Polenzani is sought after to collaborate by the some of the world’s most influential conductors including Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, James Levine, Jesús López-Cobos, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Franz Welser-Möst as well as with many major orchestras both in the United States and Europe, including the 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, and at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival.
In recital Matthew Polenzani has appeared 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 Vanished 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.ù