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 2017-18 season, he makes his Seattle Opera debut as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper as a member of the company’s ensemble, where his roles include 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. Last season, he made a company and role debut at the Opéra national de Lorraine as Idreno in Semiramide, joined the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, Korea for Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and returned to the States as Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera. Additionally, he returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper as a member of the company’s ensemble. He also joined the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra as David, Jeremiah, and the Voice of God in Weill’s The Road of Promise with Kristjan Järvi conducting at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau.
Sought after in classical musical theatre repertoire as well, he recently returned to San Francisco Opera as Tobias Ragg. His other American performances in recent seasons include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with Portland Opera, 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 a number of roles on the mainstage, including his first performances of Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. 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.
As a Resident Artist with Portland Opera, he also sang Goffredo in Rinaldo in addition to covering Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He is a also former Resident Artist with Santa Fe Opera, where he sang the role of Frank Harris in workshops of Morrison's Oscar in advance of the opera's world premiere as well as scenes of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. 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. The tenor holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where his performances included Jenik in The Bartered Bride, the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald in Assassins, and Jamie in The Last Five Years. He earned his Bachelor of Music from The Boston Conservatory where he sang Prunier in La Rondine and Prince Charmant in Cendrillon.
“...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