"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 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, and a Handel Ode with Orchestra of St Luke's in New York.
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, 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 Lodovico Otello for Grange Park Opera, 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****
Monteverdi, Dunedin Consort at the Lammermuir Festival
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
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”
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
In addition, among vocal soloists, there is a barrage of specialists in the repertoire such as …Matthew Brook
Ismael G. Cabral, Ópera Actual
Handel Samson (Manoah), Dunedin Consort, [Linn CKD 599]
As Samson’s father Manoah, Matthew Brook field a ripe yet agile bass. His Chastened tenderness in ‘How willing my paternal love’ is profoundly moving.
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone
The intention of this style of oratorio was a moral one, there was a story to tell, a point to make and words are essential. But Brook seems to have the gift in spades, and his way of combining text and music is masterly and makes even his recitatives powerfully expressive tools. Yet he can also bring a virile swagger to the music when needed as well!
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
The two basses also look good, and we find with great pleasure Matthew Brook, moving Manoa whose singer perfectly translates kindness and nobility. His air "How willing my paternal love" will be among the highlights of this recording.
Pierre Degott, ResMusica
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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