Matthew Curran, bass
Praised for his “smooth, rich sound” and “stylish power” by Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun, bass Matthew Curran brings a blend of intelligent musicianship and strong dramatic instincts to a variety of roles. His operatic repertoire includes Filippo in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Oroveso in Bellini’s Norma, Frère Laurent in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème. On the concert stage, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart, Verdi, and Brahms Requiems, and the great Bach Oratorios. He is also an eager interpreter of song literature and new works.
2016-2017 engagements include Orbazzano in Rossini’s Tancredi with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Southwest as well as the role of Terry in Breaking the Waves, a new opera by Missy Mazzola and Royce Vavrek, in its New York premiere in the Prototype Festival. Handel’s Messiah brings him to Prescott, Arizona, and he returns to Duke University Chapel to sing Jesus in Bach’s St. John Passion.
2015-2016 included the role of Ramfis in Aida at both Opera Southwest and Baltimore Concert Opera, Don Iñigo Gomez in L’Heure Espagnole with Opera Memphis, and Pistola in Falstaff with Opera Delaware.
In the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Curran debuted as Timur in Turandot at St. Petersburg Opera in a performance praised as “stalwart and moving” by CL Tampa. He also sang Polonio (Polonius) in the modern-day premiere of Amleto (Hamlet) by Franco Faccio at Opera Southwest and joined Baltimore Concert Opera as Ferrando in Il Trovatore. He appeared as bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with New Jersey Master Chorale, in a program of sacred music from 17th Century Rome with the Mallarmé Chamber Ensemble and The Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, and in Bach’s B Minor Mass with Long Island Choral Society where he was Artist-in-Residence. Additionally, Mr. Curran performed in the premiere reading of The Wedding of SirGawain and Dame Ragnelle, a new comic opera by Martin Hennessey, and in the first reading of excerpts from The Wing Wherewith, a new work by composer Julian Grant and Pulitzer prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell.
Other noteworthy engagements include Mr. Curran’s Wagnerian debut as Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, both at Opera Roanoke. He has sung Colline in La Bohème at Atlanta Opera, Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin at Seattle Opera, Angelotti in Tosca at Hawaii Opera Theatre, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia at Opera Memphis, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Baltimore Concert Opera. At Opera New Jersey, he has sung Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, Pistola in Falstaff, and Don Alfonso in Così fan Tutte. David Shengold of Opera News wrote, “Matthew Curran followed up last summer's successful Alfonso with another arranger of marriages, Frère Laurent ... Curran handled it with pleasingly solid tone.” He has also appeared as Sarastro in an abridged The Magic Flute with St. Louis Symphony, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at Washington East Opera, Giove in La Calisto at Vertical Player Repertory, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro at El Paso Opera, and Colline in La Bohème at Opera Memphis and Opera Grand Rapids. As a member of the Zürich International Opera Studio, Mr. Curran sang Macrobio in La Pietra del Paragone, in addition to several small roles on the main stage at Zürich Opera.
A frequent interpreter of new music, Mr. Curran was chosen by composer Daron Hagen to record the role of Edwin Cheney in his opera Shining Brow, performed live with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra and released on the Naxos label. He also appeared as Basil in composer Lowell Lieberman’s The Picture of Dorian Gray with Center City Opera Theatre. He has enjoyed a long relationship with American Opera Projects, where he was a resident singer for their Composer and the Voice workshop for three seasons. With American Opera Projects, he has appeared in several workshops of new works, including Hershel Garfein’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, Christopher Berg’s Cymbeline, and Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz’s first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Mr. Curran was then invited to join the New York City Opera production of Séance, covering the role of Inspector Watts. He also workshopped several new pieces as part of New York City Opera’s VOX Festival. In 2012, he created the role of Helmut Langeschlange in The Enchanted Organ: A Porn Opera, presented at Dixon Place in New York City.
Mr. Curran made his Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall as bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the National Chorale. He has also appeared as bass soloist in: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Symphony Silicon Valley; Handel’s Messiah with The Long Island Choral Society; the world premiere of Samuel Bellardo’s Requiem with Newtown Chamber Orchestra; and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Canterbury Choral Society of New York City, where he also sang Jesus in Bach’s St. John Passion. An avid recitalist and lover of German lieder, he studied German for two summers at Middlebury College’s intensive German for Singers program and speaks the language confidently.
Mr. Curran has sung under the baton of Steven White, Lorin Maazel, Steve Osgood, Anthony Barrese, and many other fine conductors. He has collaborated with such stage directors as Mark Morris, Ken Cazan, Linda Brovsky, and Crystal Manich. He has been a member of several prestigious Young Artist programs including Zürich International Opera Studio, Seattle Opera, Central City Opera, and Chautauqua Opera. He earned his Master of Music (M.M.) at Indiana University School of Music and his Bachelor of Music (B.M.) from Loyola University School of Music.