Matthew Brook

Bass-baritone

"Matthew Brook, who turns anything he sings to gold"

Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian

"Mathew Brook was outstanding. His firm, well-focused voice was ideally suited to the music and his diction was impeccable."

John Quinn, Seen and Heard International

"Matthew Brook’s arias were rare gems of poignant phrasing rested in dramatic accuracy"

Australian Stage

"The monster Polypheme in a monstrously satisfying performance by Matthew Brook: one of the most compelling giants on disc"

BBC Radio 3 CD Review

"Matthew Brook’s virile bass is outstanding"

The Times

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Matthew Brook leapt to fame with his 2007 Gramophone Award-winning recording of Handel’s Messiah with the Dunedin Consort, followed by equally critically acclaimed recordings of Acis and Galatea and St Matthew Passion.  He has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe, Australia, North and South America and the Far East, and has worked with many of the world's leading conductors.  He is now considered one of the finest singers of his generation.

Recent and future highlights include Haydn’s Creation with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat and Brahms’ Triumphlied with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart and on tour with the English Concert, Bach’s B minor Mass at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, Fauré’s Requiem with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, a tour of Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, a tour of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the roles of Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Haydn The Creation, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Hall, Birmingham (September 2017)

There was a wonderful empathy from the official trio of soloists (Lydia Teusche, Thomas Hobbs, Matthew Brook)

Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post

Matthew Brook brought story-telling warmth to the bass-baritone roles.

Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

Mathew Brook was outstanding. His firm, well-focused voice was ideally suited to the music and his diction was impeccable. In Parts I and II he really told his portions of the story vividly, characterising the music in a most engaging way. The characterful aspect of his singing reached its zenith in ‘Straight opening her fertile womb’; here he illustrated the creation of various beasts most entertainingly and in a way that clearly amused the audience … Brook was manly and suave.

John Quinn, Seen and Heard International

Bach St John Passion (Christus), The Dunedin Consort, BBC Prom

Royal Albert Hall, London (August 2017)

Matthew Brook’s Jesus was at times strikingly angry.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Authority and presence poured from Matthew Brook's Jesus.

David Nice, theartsdesk.com

The dignified Jesus of Matthew Brook, who similarly used the words to devastating effect and somehow conveyed that he really did mean it. He sang with a trenchant firmness of line, and rather than being other-worldly was wonderfully human.

Robert Hugill, Opera Today

Purcell The Fairy Queen (Drunken Poet), Handel and Haydn Society

Tanglewood (August 2017)

Matthew Brook was especially entertaining as the Drunken Poet, tippling lustily into his first entry.

Hilary Scott, The New York Times

Handel Ariodante (Il Re), The English Concert

Barbican Centre, London (May 2017)

Matthew Brook’s King was beautifully characterised and sung.

Anna Picard, The Times

Plaudits are also due to Matthew Brook for his vivid portrayal of the King – one of Handel’s richest operatic roles for bass.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Matthew Brook found depth of feeling in the role of the King of Scotland.

Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

The vocal line of Matthew Brook’s King was charged with grief…perplexing yet glorious, every life-enhancing minute of it.

Barry Millington, The Evening Standard

Handel Semele (Cadmus/Somnus)

Handel & Haydn Society, Symphony Hall, Boston (May 2017)

The robust bass-baritone Matthew Brook was imposing as Cadmus and hilariously hammy as Somnus. He blinked blearily at the lights overhead during his “Leave me, loathsome light,” and instantly roused himself for a lusty “More sweet is that name”.

Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe

As Semele’s father Cadmus and the god of sleep Somnus, bass-baritone Matthew Brook brought equal parts command and humor. Cadmus’ aria “Wing’d with our fears, and pious haste” brilliantly conveyed the image of Semele being taken by the eagle. And Somnus’ aria “Leave me, loathsome light” was fittingly lethargic.

Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review

Handel Ariodante (Il Re), The English Concert

Carnegie Hall, New York & Kennedy Center, Washington DC (April/May 2017)

The solid bass-baritone Matthew Brook, as the king […] was excellent.

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Matthew Brook plumbed some of the darkest depths of grief in the opera as the King, his luxurious, dark bass-baritone betraying immense pain in his Act II lament ’Invida sorte avara’.

Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review

Anyone who thinks baroque opera isn’t relevant had only to see and hear Matthew Brook as the King of Scotland, Ginevra’s father, moving from paternal delight at her impending marriage to anguish when he believes Ariodante dead to horror when he believes Ginevra’s infidelity caused that death. The story line may be dated, but the basic emotions, and the powerful singing, were anything but.

Anne Midgette, The Washington Post

Bach St John Passion, Handel & Haydn Society

Boston Symphony Hall (March 2016)

In bass-baritone Matthew Brook’s forthright performance, Jesus was a strong if enigmatic human presence… Immediately preceding the latter aria, the same two violinists accompanied bass-baritone Brook in a touchingly halting performance of the meditation “Betrachte, meine Seel.” The bass-baritone sounded a more urgent note in the aria “Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen” (Hurry, you tormented souls), in which the rapid choral interjections of “Wohin?” (Where?) were uncannily soft, like echoes of disembodied souls.

David Wright, Boston Classical Review

Bass-baritone Matthew Brook sang the role of Jesus with mellifluous gravity and warm beauty of tone. Although additional singers are often employed for the tenor and bass arias, these were sung by Mulroy and Brook respectively, requiring a shift in character from narrator or active participant to grieving bystander, a role change they both handled convincingly. A highlight of the evening was the bass arioso, “Betrachte, meine Seel” (Ponder, my soul), the jagged intervals of the vocal line accompanied by two muted violins.

Virginia Newes, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Purcell The Married Beau, The English Concert

Wigmore Hall (September 2016)

Matthew Brook [was] genial and gusty in his arias.

Neil Fisher, The Times

More engaging still was bass-baritone Matthew Brook, a born performer with something of the great Christopher Purves about his tone and dramatisation, in Cardenio's "Let the Dreadful Engines”.

David Nice, theartsdesk.com

Matthew Brook gave us a characterful and delightfully swaggering rogue in When the World first knew creation. A lively Aire and another Hornpipe were followed by Brook's performance of Let the Dreadful Engines, a song in which the singer mistakenly believes his love has rejected him. The result was a highly dramatic sequence, full of free arioso with some lovely bravura moments, as well as charm and quiet passion. Brook really brought out the words, and turned the piece into a real tour de force.

Robert Hugill, planethuggill.com

Cryptic, Fantasy and Madness, Dunedin Consort

Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh (October 2016)

Singers Mhairi Lawson and Matthew Brook – both ruddy-cheeked and grinning suggestively – gave brilliantly vivid performances, full of vocal theatrics, savouring every word for its dramatic potential

David Kettle The Scotsman

Bach St Matthew Passion, Three Choirs Festival

Hereford Cathedral (July 2015)

Bass Matthew Brook brought a shining dignity to his portrayal of Christ.

Stephen Prichard, The Observer

The superlative bass-baritone Matthew Brook as Christ.

Roderic Dunnett, bachtrack.com

Bach St Matthew Passion (1727 Version), York Bach Choir / Peter Seymour

Signum SIGCD385 (June 2015)

The second bass is Matthew Brook, who…firmly captures the dichotomy of articulate precision and dramatic desperation in ‘Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder'.

David Vickers, Gramophone

Handel Messiah, Cardiff Polyphonic Choir 50th Anniversary

St David's Hall, Cardiff (December 2014)

But it was bass Matthew Brook’s vivid projection and the dramatic immediacy he brought that had most impact. His final aria 'The trumpet shall sound' with its instrumental obbligato, Ross Brown on valveless trumpet, was as stirring as Handel intended.

Rian Evans, The Guardian

Bach St John & St Matthew Passions, Seattle Symphony

Benaroya Hall (February 2014)

Matthew Brook had room in the St. John to demonstrate profoundly moving artistry both as Jesus and in the arias.

Bernard Jacobson, The Seattle Times

The rest of the soloists also were impressive, particularly bass-baritone Matthew Brook.

Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times

Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Royal Northern Sinfonia/Zehetmair

The Sage Gateshead (June 2014)

Matthew Brook’s expressive introduction to the Agnus Dei was another highlight.

Jane Shuttleworth, bachtrack.com

Bach St Matthew Passion, Yorkshire Bach Choir & Baroque Soloists

St Michael-le-Belfrey, York (March 2014)

Matthew Brook’s Christus was the backbone of the evening, mightily resilient.

Martin Dreyer, The York Press

Mozart Requiem, Dunedin Consort

Linn Records CKD 449

Matthew Brook's bass responds sonorously to the sounding of the last trumpet in the 'Tuba mirum’.

David Threasher, Gramophone

Bach St John Passion, Britten Sinfonia

Barbican Centre, London (April 2014)

Matthew Brook sang Christus and the bass arias with measured nobility.

George Hall, The Guardian

Bach St Matthew Passion, Soli Deo Gloria

Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago (April 2014)

Matthew Brook was eloquent in everything he sang, not least the great aria ‘Gerne will ich mich bequemen’.

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

Bass-baritone Matthew Brook provided worthy vocalism in his solo moments as well.

Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

Matthew Brook…contributed impressively in [his] solos.

Adam Dahlgren, Splash Magazines

Bach Christmas Oratorio, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Layton)

Hyperion CDA68031/2

Matthew Brook's resplendent all-guns-blazing ‘Grosser Herr'.

Paul Riley, BBC Music Magazine

I was most impressed with the soloists, particularly Matthew Brook’s resonant bass.

Graham Lock, Early Music Magazine

Matthew Brook's arias have a most enjoyable vigour.

Carl Rosman, International Record Review

Brahms Requiem, Royal Northern Sinfonia (Thomas Zehetmair)

The Sage, Gateshead (September 2013)

The other soloist, bass Matthew Brook was also excellent, powerful throughout the range and with particularly rich low notes. The bass soloist pleads God to teach us to know that we all have an end, and his words are echoed by the choir; Matthew Brook gave this passage a firm assurance, and with the interesting effect of a master teaching his students who repeat and accept his lesson.

Jane Shuttleworth, bachtrack.com

Matthew Brook sang with wise authority.

Graham Rickson, theartsdesk.com

Handel Esther (Haman), Dunedin Consort

Wigmore Hall, London (April 2013)

As the venomous Haman, Matthew Brook dark bass-baritone registered with malign force, though he also highlighted the sympathy finally allowed the king's official when he is condemned to death.

George Hall, The Guardian

It is Haman who has the first air, “Pluck root and branch from out the land”, and here the commanding bass Matthew Brook established his core vocal strength, to be balanced by the vigorous and perfectly balanced chorus.

Colin Clarke, Seen and Hear International

Handel Messiah, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

St. David’s Hall, Cardiff (December 2012)

But for me two of the most satisfying parts of the evening were given to us by Bass-baritone Matthew Brook whose singing of the Airs "Why do the nations so furiously rage together" and, in particular, "The trumpet shall sound" were memorable indeed.

Peter Collins, The Western Mail

Pilate and bass-baritone soloist (St John Passion), The Three Choirs Festival

Hereford Cathedral (July 2012)

Bowen's lineup of soloists were also strong. Matthew Brook tellingly defined Pilate's dilemma as well as finding a mellifluous flow in the bass arias.

Rian Evans, The Guardian

Matthew Brook was in very fine voice. He sang the recitative part of Pilate intelligently and did his arias very well. . . We got a much better view of Brook’s vocal prowess in Betrachte, mein Seel. Here he could deploy a very pleasing rounded tone and excellent, even legato. He sang the aria warmly and with fine expression. I also enjoyed very much ‘Mein teurer Heiland’ for the same reasons.

John Quinn, Seen and Heard International

Haman (Handel’s Esther - First Reconstructable Version (Cannons), 1720)

The Dunedin Consort/Butt, CD Linn CKD397

Brook’s performance of the villain Haman’s ‘Turn not, O Queen’ transfixes everyone

David Vickers, Gramophone

Brook’s noble singing of Haman’s (futile) plea for mercy to Esther and his admonitory final aria give the oratorio’s villain near-tragic grandeur

Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem, Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner

CD SDG706 (May 2012)

Matthew Brook’s dark-hued baritone is excellent for the role

Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine

The baritone Matthew Brook opens ‘Herr, lehre doch mich’ with a simple eloquence that is very persuasive…The combination of an unaffected solo baritone and period woodwind at ‘Ach, wie gar nichts sind alle Menschen’ is extremely effective...

Nigel Simeone , International Record Review

J. S. Bach, Cantata No. 207

The Dunedin Consort/Butt (May 2012)

The gauzy mystery of this aria, unlike anything else in Bach, was caught by the players with delicate care, and bass Matthew Brook sang with a lovely grave eloquence.

Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

‘Welt, gute Nacht’ (J.C.Bach), English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner,

CD SDG715, December 2011

Matthew Brook’s powerful, richly-hued Wie bist du den, o Gott with its incredible two-octave vocal range

Charlotte Gardner, Classic FM

The King of Scotland (Ariodante), Il Complesso Barocco/Curtis,

Virgin Classics 0 70844-2, May 2011

The Briton Matthew Brook [...] proves himself an outstanding Handel bass as the King of Scotland

Hugh Canning, International Record Review

Seneca (L’Incoronazione di Poppea),

Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Curtis, June 2011

Only Matthew Brook as Seneca, Anders Dahlin as Ottone and Nicola Marchesini as the Nurse had any real grasp of Monteverdian style

Opera Now

Weber, Der Freischütz, Opera Comique, Paris / Gardiner

April 2011

The singing was first rate...Matthew Brook made an impressive Kouno

James Jolly, Gramophone

Bach, Christmas Oratorio / The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Butt

Queen Elizabeth Hall, December 2010

“Brook's baritone realised the greatest variety of expressive tone-colour”

Rhian Evans, The Guardian

“Bach and Beyond”, Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti

(Australia, April 2010)

Brook’s agile bass.

Clive O’Connell,The Age

animated; especially Matthew Brook (bass), whose delivery is assertive; commanding, even.

Lloyd Bradford Syke, The Australian Stage

Friar Tuck (Ivanhoe), BBC National Orchestra of Wales/David Lloyd-Jones,

Chandos Records CHAN10578 (January 2010)

“’Ho, jolly Jenkin’… spiritedly tossed off by Matthew Brook.”

John T. Hughes, International Record Review

“vigorous and spirited rendition of “Ho, jolly Jenkin.”

– Faye Courtney, Opera Britannia

“very well-sung by Matthew Brook”

David Laviska, Musical Criticism

Vaughan Williams, Sancta Civitas, Bach Choir/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Hill

Naxos 8.572424 (May 2010)

[Vaughan Williams] would have appreciated these fine soloists, chief among them Matthew Brook, who turns anything he sings to gold.

Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian

There is infinite compassion, in the third movement … from baritone Matthew Brook, whose grainy timbre I can best compare to that of a youthful John Tomlinson

Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review

Handel Messiah, Handel and Haydn Society/Harry Christophers

(Boston Symphony Hall, December 2010)

Tenor Tom Randle and baritone Matthew Brook both had powerful, robust voices that served them well at the most dramatic moments.

David Weininger, The Boston Globe

Matthew Brook Opera Repertoire

Bernstein

A Quiet Place (Young Sam)

Bizet

Carmen (Zuniga)

Britten

Albert Herring (Vicar)
Noye’s Fludde (Noye)
Peter Grimes (Ned Keene)

Handel

Acis and Galatea (Polyphemus)
Ariodante (Il Re)
Apollo et Dafne (Apollo)
Imeneo (Argenio)
Jephtha (Zadok)
Tolomeo (Eraspe)

Janáček

Jenufa (Starek) (Mayor)

Menotti

Amahl and the Night Visitors (Melchior)

Monteverdi

L'incoronazione di Poppea (Seneca)

Mozart

Don Giovanni (Leporello)
Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro)
Die Zauberflöte (Papageno)

Purcell

Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas)
The Indian Queen (Ismeron)

Puccini

Tosca (Sacristan)

Rameau

Anacréon (Anacréon)
Castor et Pollux (Jupiter)

Sullivan

Trial by Jury (Counsel)
Ivanhoe (Friar Tuck)

Tchaikovsky

Eugene Onegin (Onegin) (Zaretsky)

Vaughan Williams

The Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan) (Lord Hategood) (Watchful)(Obstinate) and (First Shepherd)

Walton

Troilus and Cressida (Antenor, Calkas)

Weber

Der Freischütz (Kuno)

Matthew Brook Concert Repertoire

Bach

Magnificat including interpolations
Masses in A, G, and F
B Minor Mass
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion
Christmas Oratorio
Easter Oratorio
Cantatas including numbers: 13, 18, 27, 32, 52, 56, 62, 66, 70, 78, 82, 85, 106, 110, 132, 140, 150, 151, 152, 158, 161, 164, 165, 182, 211

JC Bach

Wie bist du den O Gott

Buxtehude

Jesu membra nostre

Beethoven

Mass in C
Choral Symphony

Berlioz

L’Enfance du Christ (all bass/baritone roles)

Blow

God spake sometime in visions

Blake

Benedictus

Brahms

Liebeslieder Waltzes
Requiem

Britten

Cantata Misericordium

Burgon

The fall of Lucifer

Carissimi

Jephte

Charpentier

Caecilia Virgo
Elevation
Mass
Te Deum

Dvorak

Mass in D
Requiem
Stabat Mater
Te Deum

Dyson

Canterbury Pilgrims

Elgar

Apostles
Dream of Gerontius
The Kingdom

Faure

Requiem

Finzi

In terra pax
Let us garlands bring
Lo the full final sacrifice

Grieg

Four Psalms

Grier

Around the curve of the world

Handel

Acis and Galatea
Alexander’s Feast
Apollo et Dafne
Dixit Dominus
Esther
Israel in Egypt
Judas Maccabeus
Messiah
Samson
Sing unto the Lord
Utrecht Te Deum

Haydn

Creation
Harmony Mass
Heilige Messe
Maria Therese Mass
Nelson Mass
Pauken Mass
St Nicholas Mass
Seasons

Howells

Requiem

Janacek

Glagolitic Mass
Unvollendete Messe

Joubert

The Magus

Kodaly

Te Deum

Maunder

Olivet to Calvary

Mendelssohn

Elijah
Walpurgisnacht

Mozart

Missa Brevis
Mass in C Minor
Mass in C
Regina Coeli
Requiem Vespers

Monteverdi

Vespers
Book IV Madrigals

Nielsen

Symphony No. 3

Purcell

In guilty night
Ode to St Cecilia
Come ye sons of art

Anthony Powers

Air and Angels

Orff

Carmina Burana

Puccini

Messe di Gloria

Rameau

In convertendo
Thetis

Rossini

Stabat Mater
Petite Messe Solenelle

Stainer

Crucifixion

Schütz

Christmas Story

Stravinsky

Canticum Sacrum
Pulcinella

Tippett

A child of our time

Vaughan Williams

Benedicite
Dona nobis pacem
Sancta Civitas
Fantasia on Christmas Carols
5 Mystical Songs

Walton

Belshazzar’s Feast

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