"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"
"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"
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.
This season, Matthew sings his recital programme with Iain Burnside titled View from the Villa at the Lammermuir Festival, Handel’s Messiah with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, and also on tour in Europe with the Academy of Ancient Music, the role of Pilate in Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York, and the same piece with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the role of Lodovico in Otello for Grange Park Opera.
Recent highlights include the role of Aeneas in the world premiere of Errollyn Wallen’s Dido’s Ghost co-commissioned by the Dunedin Consort, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Dido and Aeneas with the Handel and Haydn Society, Haydn’s Creation and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Argante Rinaldo with Ópera de Oviedo, Claudio Agrippina at Teatro de la Maestranza, a tour of Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at Festival St Denis, and the roles of Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.
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Haydn The Creation, Handel and Haydn Society Boston
The orchestra and Brook vividly portrayed the tiger’s leaps, the nimble stag’s dashing, and the noble steed’s impatient neighing. … “[i]n long dimensions creeps with sinuous trace the worm.” Brook inspired many a smile and chuckle by plumbing the bottom of his vocal range and displaying a wormlike mien. He continued, however, with alacrity into the extroverted aria “Now heav’n in fullest glory”, negotiating its plentiful coloratura with agility and assurance.
Geoffrey Wieting, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Bach St Matthew Passion (Pilate), Carnegie Hall
Another standout was Matthew Brook, who during Part I was chameleonic in arias attached to Judas and Peter but in Part II took a solemn turn: first in “Komm, suß Kreuz,” then in “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein,” which he sang soothingly, with the rocking phrases of a lullaby. That aria was all the more moving for how unforced its sentiment was. The “St. Matthew Passion” is more meditation than melodrama, and this reading carried that belief to the final measure — its dissonance barely held, the slightest tension resolving with the grace of the restfulness it’s meant to reflect.
Joshua Barone, The New York Times
CD Recording: Bach Cantatas – Ich habe genug, Dunedin Consort (Linn)
The soloist is the bass-baritone Matthew Brook, a Dunedin stalwart, who brings a compelling honesty to music and words. …the grainier nature of Brook’s performance, with its moments of vocal vulnerability mixed up in the beauty of it all, has an immediacy that gets to the work’s essence.
Erica Jeal, The Guardian*****
…bass Matthew Brook’s rich tone underlines the anguish and sounds a reassuring solidity in the final triumphant bars.
Oliver Condy, BBC Music Magazine*****
Every element in ‘Ich habe genug’ feels just right - …(the) cathartic fulfilment of divine promise in Matthew Brook’s endearing truthfulness.
David Vickers, Gramophone
Bass Matthew Brook and soprano Joanne Lunn are monumental among the five-piece vocal team. …A truly moving and beautiful disc.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman
CD Recording: Purcell Birthday Odes for Queen Mary, The King’s Consort
…dramatically sung by David de Winter and Matthew Brook…
Anthony Pryer, BBC Music Magazine****
Haydn Creation (Raphael), Academy of Ancient Music
Barbican (September 2021)
…when Matthew Brook’s angel Raphael was in full flow, guiding us through the delights of God’s menagerie with twinkling eyes and infinite humour. Brook was an absolute delight. None of his comrades approached his sparkle…
Geoff Brown, The Times****
Matthew Brook’s Raphael captured the curious mix of lyricism, wonder and drollery in Haydn’s settings of the Genesis stories. His soaring, rhapsodic passages of awe yield to stretches of almost-comic patter as the sheer oddity of God’s handiwork – slitherers, waddlers, creepy-crawlies and all – finds musical shape. It’s not often you hear audience belly-laughs in a canonical masterpiece like this, but Brook got them when he showed how “in long dimension creeps with sinuous trace the worm”.
Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk*****
The other angelic roles were well taken by bass-baritone Matthew Brook as Raphael – a model of controlled resonance
Sandra Bowdler, Bachtrack****
Matthew Brook Opera Repertoire
A Quiet Place (Young Sam)
Albert Herring (Vicar)
Acis and Galatea (Polyphemus)
Jenufa (Starek) (Mayor)
Amahl and the Night Visitors (Melchior)
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Seneca)
Don Giovanni (Leporello)
Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas)
Trial by Jury (Counsel)
Eugene Onegin (Onegin) (Zaretsky)
The Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan) (Lord Hategood) (Watchful)(Obstinate) and (First Shepherd)
Troilus and Cressida (Antenor, Calkas)
Der Freischütz (Kuno)
Matthew Brook Concert Repertoire
Magnificat including interpolations
Wie bist du den O Gott
Jesu membra nostre
Mass in C
L’Enfance du Christ (all bass/baritone roles)
God spake sometime in visions
The fall of Lucifer
Mass in D
In terra pax
Around the curve of the world
Acis and Galatea
Olivet to Calvary
Symphony No. 3
In guilty night
Air and Angels
Messe di Gloria
A child of our time
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