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. His sister is independent folk musician Rose Polenzani. His grandfather is Lynn Hauldren, known as the "Empire Guy".

Early life[edit]

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Polenzani earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1991, 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) in 1994. After graduating from Yale, he began studying with Margaret Harshaw. He then 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] After Ms. Harshaw's death in 1997, he began studying with his current teacher, Laura Brooks Rice, another student of Ms. Harshaw, in 1998, with whom he continues to study today.


Polenzani made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1997, in Boris Godunov. He has since gone on to perform more than 300 performances in over 20 roles with that company, including Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Il Duca in Rigoletto, David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore and the title role in Roberto Devereux.[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 and Paris Opera, La Damnation de Faust in Frankfurt and Berlin, "La Bohème" at Gran Teatre del Liceu and Manon at Covent Garden and La Scala.

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


  1. ^ "Opera tenor Matthew Polenzani on his life and career in singing". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Laura Emerick. " 'Singing is what i Do': But it's not how Matthew Polenzani defines himself", The Chicago Sun-Times, November 26, 2006

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