A multi-faceted singer, the New York Times declares that Matthew Burns “has a beautiful bass-baritone voice,” Opera News observes, “Matthew Burns instills in his voice all the colors needed,” while the Boston Musical Intelligencer credits him with “a rare combination of comic timing, musical ability and stellar acting.” In summer of 2013 he returns again to the Bard Music Festival to sing Mussorgsky’s “Vaarlam’s Aria” from Boris Godunov. In season 2012-13 Matthew Burns sang as soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater and in Messiah, both with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; in Messiah with Richmond Symphony; as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor in a return to Dayton Opera; returned to Virginia Opera in the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro; debuted with Palm Beach Opera as Alidoro in La Cenerentola, and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Hubicka and Otec in Smetana’s The Kiss; and was soloist with New York’s New Choral Society in Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass and Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis.His 2011-12 season included singing the title role in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Southwest, as Kuno in Der Freischutz with Macau International Music Festival, the Poet in Glass’ Orphée in a return to Virginia Opera, George in Of Mice and Men with Utah Opera, and as soloist in Messiah with the Dallas and Richmond symphonies. In summer of 2012 he debuted with Lake George Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto and as Manager in The Mighty Casey.
Recent highlights include the role of Notary in Intermezzo in a return to New York City Opera; his Opera Omaha debut as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Southwest; Rabbi Eleazer in Dessau’s “Haggadah shel Pescah” with American Symphony Orchestra; soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Mobile Symphony; in Messiah with Rochester Chamber Orchestra; featured soloist in an opera arias concert for New York City Opera; Paolo in Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten with Los Angeles Opera; Leporello with Opera Cleveland; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia with Toledo Opera; soloist in Messiah with Princeton Pro Musica; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Hong Kong Sinfonietta; Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the New Choral Society; Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” with Atlanta Symphony, under Roberto Abbado; a return to Bard’s SummerScape as Innkeeper and Policeman in Schreker’s Die Ferne Klang; soloist at Symphony Space in the world premiere of John Eaton’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; the title role in Don Giovanni in his Arizona Opera debut; Leporello with Boston Lyric Opera; Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Kentucky Opera; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera New Jersey; Agrippa in Antony and Cleopatra in his sixth season with New York City Opera; a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the role of Tita in Martín y Soler’s Una Cosa Rara; title role in Le nozze di Figaro at Opera Grand Rapids; Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra; Grandpa Moss in The Tender Land for the Southeastern Festival of Song with the Charleston Symphony; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Albany Symphony; a return to Boston Lyric Opera as Colline in La bohème; and his Dayton Opera debut as Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera on numerous occasions.
Other highlights include his return to New York City Opera as Colline in La bohème, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro for Chattanooga Opera, Pallante in Agrippina with Virginia Opera, Colline with Opera Birmingham, Schaunard in La bohème with New Orleans Opera, and his return to Opera Theater of Saint Louis as Pish Tush inThe Mikado and Walton in I puritani. Since his New York City Opera debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni he has been reengaged by the company in such roles as Zuniga in Carmen, Il Mandarino in Turandot, Angelotti in Tosca,Major Murgatroyd in Patience, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Il Talpa in Il tabarro, Marquis in La traviata, and Guard and Motorcycle Cop in Dead Man Walking. Mr. Burns made his Florida Grand Opera debut with his first performances of Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and has performed a number of leading roles with Wolf Trap Opera including the title role in Mozart’s Impresario, Bartolo inIl barbiere di Siviglia, and Teucer in Rameau’s Dardanus. He has performed two seasons at the Bard SummerFest, portraying several roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose, as well as roles in both Offenbach’s Ba-Ta-Clan and L’Ile du Tulipatan. In addition, Mr. Burns has sung Angelotti in Tosca with the New Jersey Symphony and appeared in recital with the Art Song Festival of Williamsburg. As a member of the Juilliard Opera Center he performed Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah, La Voce Nettuno in Idomeneo, and created the villainous role of William de Champeaux in Stephen Paulus’ Heloise and Abelard.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Matthew Burns made his Carnegie Hall debut singing Handel’s Messiahand his Avery Fisher Hall debut singing the Zeremonienmeister in Hindemith’s Das Nusch-Nuschi. Other concert and oratorio works to Mr. Burns’ credit include the requiem masses of Verdi, Duruflé, and Mozart; appearing as soloist in Messiah with the Pacific Symphony; an evening of Mozart opera excerpts with the Albany Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Mass in C; Handel’s Judas Maccabeus; and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. He has also performed in recitalfor Texas’ Omega House AIDS Hospice.
Mr. Burns is recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant for Singers from the Shoshana Foundation and a 2006 Richard Gold Career Grant from New York City Opera, presented to an artist whose performance demonstrates great promise in the opera world. He is featured as the bass soloist on a recording of Kirke Mecham’s The King’s Contest with the Commonwealth Singers of Richmond, Virginia.