"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 John Passion with Les Violons du Roy in Quebec, 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.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
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
Mendelssohn’s Elijah, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall Birmingham (November 2019)
Matthew Brook’s imposing delivery of this short solo suggested that he would be a prophet to be reckoned with, and so it proved. Though there wasn’t anything approaching a weak link in this performance, Brook’s assumption of the title role was outstanding... Brook was full of fiery righteousness in his denunciation of King Ahab and then he dared the followers of Baal to summon up their false god. His rendition of ‘Lord God of Abraham’, sung with seamless line and ample reserves of tone, was a highlight of the evening, but within a few minutes Brook was able effortlessly to change the mood again for a thrilling account of ‘Is not his word like a fire?’ which was marvellously articulated at the blistering pace set by Kazuki Yamada. In Part II we heard an outstanding rendition of ‘It is enough’ … Brook made this into a dignified, lyrical envoi, setting the seal on his memorable performance.
John Quinn, Seen and Heard International
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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