Opera News exclaims that in San Francisco Opera’s Sweeney Todd, “Tenor Matthew Grills made the strongest impression, delivering Tobias’s ‘Not While I’m Around’ with touching tenderness.” In the 2019-20 season, he returns to Seattle Opera for his role debut as Ramiro in La cenerentola and to the role of Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia in his debut with Utah Opera. He makes company debuts with Los Angeles Opera as Loud Stone in the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice and the Metropolitan Opera as the First Waiter in Der Rosenkavalier in addition to joining the company for its production of Die Zauberflote. Last season he made house debuts with both Opera San Jose singing his first performances of Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and with New Orleans Opera in a return to his beloved characterization of Pedrillo in the same opera as well as sang his first performances of Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Berkshire Opera Festival. He returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper to reprise Kedril in From the House of the Dead and to Portland Opera for the company’s “Big Night” concert as well as joined Dallas Opera for a debut as the Dance Master in Manon Lescaut and for the company’s production of Falstaff. On the concert stage, he sang Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, a concert celebrating Bernstein’s Broadway with the Florida Orchestra, as well as Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and excerpts of L’elisir d’amore with Das Musikkollegium Wintherthur.
Sought after in classical musical theatre repertoire as well, he recently returned to San Francisco Opera as Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd. In the realm of bel canto repertoire, he made company debuts with Seattle Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Opéra national de Lorraine as Idreno in Semiramide, and the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, Korea and Portland Opera for Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. He is a former member of the ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper, where his roles included further performances of include further performances of Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Kedril in From the House of the Dead, Danieli in Les vêpres siciliennes, and Vierter Knappe in Parsifal, all new productions; Don Gaspard in La favorite, among others. Other recent performances for the tenor include Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera, David, Jeremiah, and the Voice of God in Weill’s The Road of Promise with Kristjan Järvi conducting the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Fenton in Falstaff with Wolf Trap Opera, as well as Almaviva in family performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia and Nathaniel in Les contes d'Hoffmann with San Francisco Opera in addition to joining the company for its production of Così fan tutte.
Prior to joining the ensemble at the Bayerische Staatsoper, he was a member of the company’s prestigious Opernstudio and sang title role of Le comte Ory and Fabrizio in Martinů’s Mirandolina in the historic Cuvilliés Theatre, Ernesto in Donizetti’s Il giovedì grasso at the Schloss Nymphenberg, as well as his first performances of Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail on the company’s mainstage. He sang a solo recital at the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center presented by the Vocal Arts D.C. and the Washington Performing Arts Society and recently joined the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah. He is a former Resident Artist with Portland Opera and Apprentice Artist of Santa Fe Opera. At the Seagle Music Colony, he sang Ferrando in Così fan tutte.
Mr. Grills is the unprecedented winner of both grand prize in Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and first prize in the Lotte Lenya Competition in the same year, 2012. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where his performances included Jenik in The Bartered Bride and the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald in Assassins. He earned his Bachelor of Music from The Boston Conservatory where he sang Prunier in La rondine.
“...A genuinely humble Nemorino who was particularly eloquent singing softly: 'Una furtiva lagrima' was all one could want and won a huge ovation, but it was his simple pianissino 'Oh gioia!' that jerked my furtive tear.”
— Opera News