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Matthew Best

Bass

  • Matthew Best’s career combines an internationally established reputation as an exponent of the great Wagner and Strauss roles with a distinctive conducting career featuring a distinguished contribution to the recorded repertory.

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  • Highlights in 2015/16 include his return to English National Opera as Old Convict in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Marquis of Calatrava in The Force of Destiny. Best will also conduct a performance of Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and sing Christus in the Bach Choir’s performance of Bach St Matthew Passion. Last season’s highlights included Swallow Peter Grimes with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Sir Antonio Pappano and in the revival of David Alden’s acclaimed production at English National Opera, and a role in the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Thebans, also at ENO.


    Other recent highlights include a reprisal of his role of Commendatore Don Giovanni at ENO, Berlioz Roméo et Juliette with the Warsaw Philharmonic under John Nelson, L’enfance du Christ with the Bergen Philharmonic, St Matthew Passion with The Bach Choir, Tiresias Oedipus Rex with the BBC Philharmonic, King Heinrich Lohengrin for Welsh National Opera and Royal Swedish Opera, King Marke Tristan und Isolde with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bilbao Opera, WNO and with Oper Leipzig for the Hong Kong Arts Festival, King Heinrich Lohengrin for Royal Swedish Opera, Peneois Daphne for Oper Frankfurt and Santa Fe Opera, Swallow Peter Grimes for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Opera Oviedo, Sprecher Die Zauberflöte for ROH, Don Pizarro Fidelio with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, and Verdi Requiem with the BBC Philharmonic.


    Matthew studied at Kings College, Cambridge, and at the National Opera Studio, and in 1982 won the Decca-Kathleen Ferrier Prize. At the outset of his career, he sang as a principal bass with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and as a guest with many other companies. His career reached a significant landmark when he sang the role of Wotan/The Wanderer in Scottish Opera’s new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, first seen at the Edinburgh International Festival.


    His other opera roles include Jochanaan Salome at WNO, La Roche Capriccio for Grange Park Opera, Tsargo Adriana Mater for Santa Fe Opera and Wotan Siegfried for Opéra de Lyon. In the previous seasons he has also sung Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde for La Monnaie, Wotan and Orest Elektra in Stuttgart, title role of The Flying Dutchman for Opera de Rouen, Vairochana in the world premiere production of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream in Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Paris, Scarpia Tosca, Amfortas Parsifal, Kurwenal, Don Pizarro for Scottish Opera, Count Walter Luisa Miller and Scarpia for Opera North, Wotan, Ramfis Aida, Swallow, King Marke, Commendatore Don Giovanni and Jochanaan for ENO, Cadmus The Bassarids at the Châtelet, Paris and in Cologne, Mr Flint Billy Budd with the London Symphony Orchestra, the CBSO and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and Don Pizarro Leonore (early version of Fidelio) under Gardiner at the Proms, Salzburg Festival, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the Lincoln Center Festival, New York.


    On the concert platform, Matthew recently sang Mendelssohn Elijah and Elgar The Dream of Gerontius, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Shostakovich Symphony No. 14, Verdi Requiem, and Berlioz L'enfance du Christ with major orchestras. His various recordings include Leonore, L’enfance du Christ, Billy Budd, Peter Grimes, The Dream of Gerontius, Falla El Retablo di Maese Pedro, Menotti Martin’s Lie and Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia.

    2015-16 season / 562 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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Season highlights

Old Convict Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
English National Opera


Marquis of Calatrava The Force of Destiny
English National Opera


Handel Messiah
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic


Christus St Matthew Passion
The Bach Choir 

Opera repertoire

Beethoven
Don Fernando Fidelio


Britten
Dansker Billy Budd
Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Theseus A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Debussy
Arkel Pelleas et Melisande


Monteverdi
Seneca L’incoronazione di Poppea


Mozart
Sarastro Die Zauberflöte
Sprecher Die Zauberflöte


Saint-Saens
Ancient Hebrew Samson et Dalila


Shostakovich
Old Convict Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk


Strauss, R.
First Soldier Salome


Stravinsky
Trulove The Rake’s Progress


Tchaikovsky
Gremin Eugene Onegin


Verdi
King Aida
Lodovico Otello


Wagner
Titurel Parsifal
Gurnemanz Parsifal
Fafner Siegfried
Fafner Das Rheingold
Hunding Die Walküre
King Marke Tristan und Isolde
Pogner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg


Weber
Hermit Der Freischütz

Concert repertoire

Bach
St. Matthew Passion
St. John Passion
Magnificat


Beethoven
Missa Solemnis
Mass in C


Berlioz
L’Enfance du Christ
La Damnation de Faust
Romeo et Juliette


Dvořák
Stabat Mater
Requiem


Elgar
The Dream of Gerontius
The Apostles
The Kingdom


Fauré
Requiem


Handel
Messiah
Judas Maccabaeus
Saul
Samson
Jephtha
Alexander’s Feast
and others


Haydn
The Creation
The Seasons
Masses
Stabat Mater


Janáček
Glagolitic Mass


Mendelssohn
Elijah
St Paul
Die Erste Walpurgisnacht


Mozart
Requiem
Mass in C Minor
and others


Patterson
Mass of the Sea


Puccini
Messa di Gloria


Rossini
Stabat Mater
Petite Messe Solennelle


Schubert
Masses


Shostakovich
Symphony 13
Symphony 14


Stravinsky
Oedipus Rex


Szymanowski
Stabat Mater


Tippett
A Child of our Time


Verdi
Requiem


Walton
Belshazzar’s Feast 

Matthew Best’s excellent Swallow… leave[s] an indelible impression

The Stage

Matthew Best succeeded in bringing an outstanding presence both vocally and dramatically to his Commendatore: every word was sung with a deeply chilling color and expert inflection, which arguably makes Best unrivalled in London for the excellence of his performance.

Musical Criticism

Matthew Best’s exemplary King Marke … a figure of nobly dignified bearing, focused sound and elegant phrasing.

Guardian

Intermusica represents Matthew Best worldwide

Julia Maynard
Director / Head of Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9902
jmaynard@intermusica.co.uk

Catherine Chan-Murphy
Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9903
cchan-murphy@intermusica.co.uk

Martha Hartman
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9921
mhartman@intermusica.co.uk

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Stage director

David Alden

Andreas Homoki

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles