Matthew Polenzani

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Matthew Polenzani (born 1968) is an American lyric tenor. He has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera, and San Francisco Opera, among others. He has also sung with numerous symphony orchestras.

Early life[edit]

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Polenzani earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, where he studied with Soprano Margaret Harshaw in 1990, and a master's from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Richard Cross and Doris Yarick-Cross (chair of Yale's opera department). He went on to be a member of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, now the Ryan Opera Center, with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.[1]


Polenzani made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1997, in Boris Godunov. He has since gone on to perform more than 20 roles with that company, including Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Il Duca in Rigoletto, and Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore.[2]

Making his European debut as Gérald in Delibes Lakmé with Opera Bordeaux in France in 1998, he has also appeared in productions of Don Pasquale and La traviata at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, 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 as well as the 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, La Damnation de Faust in Frankfurt, and Manon and La traviata at La Scala.

Polenzani won the Richard Tucker Award in 2004.[3] as well as the Beverly Sills Award in 2008. He is married to mezzo-soprano Rosa Maria Pascarella. Singer-songwriter Rose Polenzani is his sister.


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