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 has developed a world-wide reputation for his interpretation of the music of J.S Bach and George Frederic Handel but his musical tastes stretch far beyond this, often performing new commissions. Other concert repertoire he performs regularly include pieces such as Beethoven Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ, Brahms’ Requiem, Elgar Dream of Gerontius, Haydn Die Schöpfung and Die Jahreszeiten, Mendelssohn Elijah, Tippett A Child of Our Time and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast.

Matthew has enjoyed long collaborations with conductors including Sir Andrew Davies, Harry Bicket, Bernhard Labadie, Christophe Rousset, John Nelson, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, John Butt, Harry Christophers, Paul McCreesh and the late Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington and Richard Hickox. He has also recently collaborated with Richard Tognetti, Sir Mark Elder, Emmanuelle Haïm, Laurence Equilbey, Maxim Emelyanchev, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and Christian Curnyn.

On the opera stage Matthew has performed roles at Staatstheater Stuttgart, Opera Comique, Göttingen International Handel Festival, The Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He assumed the roles of Don Alfonso and Bartolo under Sir John Elliott Gardiner as part of a big European tour including at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Salle Pleyel, Paris, Teatro Real, Madrid and Giuseppe Verdi Opera House, Pisa. Some of Matthew’s other roles have included Polyphemus Acis and Galatea, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello Don Giovanni, Kouno Der Freischütz, Garibaldo Rodelinda, Ned Keene Peter Grimes, Vicar Albert Herring, Noye Noye's Fludde, John Bunyan and Lord Hategood in Vaughan Williams's The Pilgrim’s Progress, Melchior in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, Starek and Mayor Jenufa, Antenor and Calkas in Walton’s Troilus and Cressida, Zuniga Carmen, Argenio Imeneo and Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea. More recently Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Argante Rinaldo with Ópera de Oviedo, and Claudio Agrippina at Teatro de la Maestranza.

Matthew has an extensive discography having recorded for EMI/Virgin, Chandos, Hyperion, Naxos, Linn and Delphian. His most recent recording Bach: Ich habe genug with the Dunedin Consort for the Linn label won the choral award in the 2022 BBC Music Magazine Awards.

Recent highlights include the role of Aeneas in the world premiere of Errollyn Wallen’s Dido’s Ghost co-commissioned by the Dunedin Consort with the Barbican Centre, Edinburgh International Festival, Buxton International Festival and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, a return to the BBC Proms for Bach’s B minor Mass with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Messiahs with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra and Music of the Baroque Chicago, Haydn’s The Creation with both the AAM and Handel and Haydn Society Boston and Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Orchestra of St Luke’s at Carnegie Hall and with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.

This season, Matthew sings Bach Cantatas in a return to Les Violons du Roy in Quebec, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Orchestre National de Lyon, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Coro e Orquestra Gulbenkian, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic, the role of Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Haydn’s Creation in a return to Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Handel Odes with Orchestra of St Luke's, and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with BBC SO under Sir Andrew Davies.

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

Bach Mass in B minor, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Prom 57

Royal Albert Hall (August 2022)

…much of the performance radiated an uplifting sense of joy. Among the soloists… Matthew Brook an effective bass

Richard Fairman, Financial Times****

Behind the warmly authoritative bass-baritone of Matthew Brook in Quoniam tu solus sanctus, Roger Montgomery’s horn solo proved tender, yearning, wistful… The trumpet-enriched Et resurrexit leapt into thrillingly new life, and Brook’s Et in Spiritum Sanctum had an ardent serenity that mixed well with Katharina Spreckelsen’s beautifully coloured oboe solo.

Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk****

Haydn The Creation, Handel and Haydn Society Boston

(May 2022)

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

(April 2022)

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)

(October 2021)

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

(September 2021)

…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****

Monteverdi, Dunedin Consort at the Lammermuir Festival

(September 2021)

In a kind of musical onomatopoeia, Monteverdi’s subtle, yet dynamic music turns, in a moment, from a gorgeous poignancy to an invigorating declaration, announced by the sudden, vocal attack of the fabulous bass baritone Matthew Brook… Throughout the concert, the reverberating depth of Brook’s voice complements and contrasts wonderfully with the magnificent singing of mezzo-soprano Jessica Gillingwater....

Mark Brown, The National (Scotland)

Wallen Dido’s Ghost (Aeneas), Dunedin Consort

Barbican (June 2021)

Dido's Ghost will certainly be welcomed by all singers who have craved the limelight denied to them in the under-characterised original role of Aeneas. Written here for the compelling bass-baritone Matthew Brook, the part is fleshed out to the extent that he even gets the celebrated Lament.

John Allison, The Telegraph

Aeneas himself, Dido-obsessed, clearly needs a psychiatrist, but at least the character finds some succour singing Purcell’s heart-aching setting of Dido’s lament, “When I am laid in earth”. As movingly rendered by Matthew Brook, this was the evening’s peak: the one point where the audience’s emotional involvement could be guaranteed.

Geoff Brown, The Times

…the emotional shell of Aeneas, superbly portrayed and sung by the bass baritone Matthew Brook.

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian****

But it’s Matthew Brook’s Aeneas who carries the piece. The feckless charmer of Purcell’s origin here becomes wiser and sadder – finally a man worthy of the Lament, which he delivers with heart-stopping vulnerability and tenderness. “Remember me,” he sings. And we will.

Alexandra Coghlan, iNews

…the focus was on Matthew Brook’s Aeneas, his firm baritone successfully setting the path for Rome’s foundation but now completely haunted by regret of a lost love and the shame of his behaviour… Phrases from Dido’s Lament were scattered, but in the end it was Aeneas who got the aria, sung movingly as a broken man, a touch of falsetto here and there, Dido’s ghost and Anna both gone… While it was intriguing to see a Baroque band embracing modern styles, it was the intense commitment of the singers which made this dramatic work so compelling.

David Smythe, Bachtrack****

…there are memorable performances from the strong central cast, with standouts from … Matthew Brook’s conflicted Aeneas”

George Hall, The Stage

Matthew Brook was powerfully affecting as the obsessed Aeneas…

Ivan Hewett, Opera Magazine

CD: Purcell Odes, The King’s Consort, VIVAT121

(February 2021)

King has assembled another crack team of singers… the rampant testosterone of the duet ‘Her hero to whose conduct’ by [Edward] Grint and Matthew Brook”

Gramophone

In ‘Welcome Glorious Morn’ we reach a higher musical level. Both Carolyn Sampson and Matthew Brook suavely maintain their lines against the ingenious but busy aria accompaniments…

BBC Music Magazine

​ Handel Agrippina (Claudio), Teatro de La Maestranza

(February 2020)

In addition, among vocal soloists, there is a barrage of specialists in the repertoire such as …Matthew Brook

Ismael G. Cabral, Ópera Actual

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

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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