Praised for his powerfully engaging stage presence, his true bass voice of rare beauty, and the musicianship and artistry for great affect in a wide range of repertoire, Matthew Curran is an outstanding and sought after talent. Whether in concert, standard opera roles such as Sarastro, Raimondo, Figaro, Colline, Frère Laurent, Daland, Sparafucile and Gremin, or in modern works like Britten’s Gloriana, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Rape of Lucretia, Hagen’s Shining Brow, Lieberman’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, and Christopher Berg’s Cymbeline, his performances draw wide praise. Critics have described him as having “the voice of a poet,” and a sound “that is confident and comes with a twinkle.” “Elegantly and powerfully, the bass stole the spotlight.” “Curran sang and looked like a God.”
The current season includes debuts and return engagements. Making his Wagner debut, he sings Daland in Der Fliegender Holländer under the baton of Steven White with Opera Roanoke. He will debut with Opera Memphis as Colline in La Bohème in the fall and return in the spring as Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia. In concert, for a second consecutive year he will join the Long Island Choral Society for Handel’s Messiah and return to the Jacksonville Symphony to reprise the famous Ode to Joy in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and sing Lodovico in Verdi’s Otello conducted by Fabio Mechetti in his final opera as music director. In the spring, he makes his Hawaii Opera Theatre debut as Angelotti in Tosca.
Last season he debuted with the Saint Louis Symphony as Sarastro in a family performance of The Magic Flute. The role of Colline in La Bohème brought him to both Opera Grand Rapids and Jacksonville Symphony, where he later returned as Bass Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. In Lucia di Lammermoor with Baltimore Concert Opera, “Matthew Curran, as Raimondo, summoned a rich, smooth sound and shaped the music with stylish power,” wrote Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun. He also appeared as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with El Paso Opera, Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata with Lyric Opera of Virginia, and sang in Duluth Festival Opera’s Night at the Opera. The season was capped off by creating the role of Helmut Langeschlange in the new opera by Gordon Beeferman, The Enchanted Organ: A Porn Opera.
Other notable credits include appearances with Atlanta Opera as Colline in La Bohème, Seattle Opera as Zaretzky in Eugene Onegin, Skagit Opera as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, New York City Opera, covering the role of Inspector Watts in Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and also singing in a number of new works over the years as part of their Vox Opera Lab Concerts. He has performed Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Pistola in Falstaff for Opera New Jersey. He sang Mat of the Mint in The Beggar’s Opera with the Castleton Festival in performances conducted by Lorin Maazel. Concert appearances include Symphony Silicon Valley as soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, American Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, La Chef de la Flotte in Bérénice at Carnegie Hall, and Penvald in Fervaal by Vincent D’Indy at Avery Fisher Hall, and highly praised interpretations of the bass solos from Handel’s Messiah with the Garden State Philharmonic and others.
An eager performer and advocate of new works, Mr. Curran was particularly honored to be chosen by composer Daron Hagen to sing Edwin Cheney in Shining Brow, which was recorded live with the Buffalo Philharmonic under JoAnn Falletta and released on the Naxos label. He sang Basil in Lowell Lieberman’s The Picture of Dorian Gray with Center City Opera Theater and has also enjoyed a long association with American Opera Projects, appearing in numerous works in development as well as being a resident singer for their Composer and The Voice workshop for three seasons.
A cum laude graduate of the Loyola University New Orleans School of Music, he received his Master’s degree at the prestigious Indiana University School of Music where he worked with notable conductors Imre Palló and David Effron as Count Waldner in Arabella and the Doctor in Wozzeck. He subsequently joined Seattle Opera’s young artist program where he sang Colline in La Bohème, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin on the main stage. Following Seattle he furthered his training at the International Opera Studio in Zurich, where he sang Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Macrobio in Rossini’s La Pietra del Paragone, and Max Hammer in Der Musikfeind along with numerous smaller roles on the main stage along side many of the world’s top names. He has performed with Seattle Opera, Zürich Opera, Opera New Jersey, New Orleans Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, El Paso Opera, Skagit Opera, Washington East Opera, and Opera Company of Brooklyn, among others.