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 2018-19 season, he makes 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. He returns 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 joins 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 sings 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. Future engagements include bel canto role debuts with Berkshire Opera Festival and in a return to Seattle Opera. Last season, he made his Seattle Opera debut as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper in his final season as a member of the company’s ensemble, 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.
Sought after in classical musical theatre repertoire as well, he recently returned to San Francisco Opera as Tobias Ragg. In the realm of bel canto repertoire, he recently made a company and role debut at the Opéra national de Lorraine as Idreno in Semiramide and joined the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, Korea and Portland Opera for Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. 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 a 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. 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. 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