2018–19 Season: Don José, Carmen
American tenor Matthew Polenzani made his San Francisco Opera debut as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2003 and he returned as Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and the title role of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. This season, he takes on Don José in Carmen for the first time in his career.
Other engagements during the current season include a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of Idomeneo; Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo; and the title role of La Clemenza di Tito, the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, and his role debut as Vaudémont in Iolanta at the Metropolitan Opera. To date, he has starred in more than 350 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. Concert appearances this season have included a performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestre Métropolitain Montréal, a concert series with the New World Symphony, and a recital at Carnegie Hall with pianist Julius Drake. Longtime collaborators, Polenzani and Drake will perform a series of recitals together next season.
Recent highlights include the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto and Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles in Chicago; his reprisal of Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore at the Metropolitan Opera; his role debut as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller at Opernhaus Zürich; Fernand in La Favorite at the Bavarian State Opera; and Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Concert highlights include Haydn’s Creation with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and his “A Night at the Opera” concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Matthew Polenzani is the recipient of the 2004 Richard Tucker Award, the Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 Beverly Sills Artist Award, and a 2017 Opera News Award.