Matthew Patrick Morris has garnered international recognition for the depth and versatility of his artistry as an actor and singer. He is as equally at home on the opera, concert, and Broadway stages as he is on film and television. As Le Monde declared, “you really want to hear him in either an opera or a musical. He has a big presence, a warm baritone voice, immense humanity, and the gift of an actor.”
In the past few years Morris has debuted at the American Repertory Theater, on The West End, at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris and the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, with the Amarillo, El Paso, Gotham Chamber, and New York City Operas, with the Boston, American, London, and Leipzig MDR Symphony orchestras, starred in the National Tour of Scrooge: The Musical, and appeared on Law & Order and in the movie The Producers!
Upcoming highlights include a tour of his recital, My Shining Hour featuring the lyrics and music of Johnny Mercer, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Summer Opera Tel Aviv, participation in a Mozart Residency at the Académie du Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Adam in The Diaries of Adam and Eve a new opera by Evan Premo at Scragg Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the lead role of John in the new opera The Inner Circle by Daniel Felsenfeld at Opera on Tap.
In the 2015-2016 season, Morris made several important debuts: as a member of the premiere cast of Crossing by Matt Aucoin directed by Diane Paulus at the American Repertory Theater, as Masetto in Don Giovanni and Betto in Gianni Schicchi with Venture Opera and Sherrill Milnes' Savannah Voice Festival, and as Marius in Les Misérables with Amarillo Opera. His recording of Libby Larsen’s Three Love Poems of Pablo Neruda with pianist Brent Funderburk was also released on SongFest Records.
Recent opera roles include an exclusive return engagement to the role of Papageno in legendary director Peter Brook’s Moliére Award-winning adaptation of Mozart’s Magic Flute (Une Flûte Enchantée) in Paris, Milan, and on the subsequent international tour. His performance earned him a return invitation to many theaters in Europe, including to France in the Théatre de Caen's double-bill of Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges. In the United States, Morris sang the baritone lead, Claude, in Gluck’s L’Arbre Enchanté for the inaugural season of the Fire Island Opera Festival. In England, The East Anglian Daily Times raved about his performance of Le Mari in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias at the Aldeburgh Music Festival, in a special two piano version created by Benjamin Britten performed with pianists Malcolm Martineau and Roger Vignoles, declaring it a “thoroughly commanding and effortless performance that thrilled a packed house.” As an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera, Opera News hailed his performance of Apollo in Gluck's Alcèste as "impressive." As a Tanglewood Fellow Morris sang the roles of Dionysus and Théramène in Milhaud's L'Abandon D'Ariane and La Délivrance de Thésée under the direction of Mark Morris.
Highlights of his theater career include King Charles in Candide at the Barbican in London, Young Scrooge in the National Tour of Scrooge: The Musical, Baritone in the Jazz Trio in Trouble in Tahiti at the Théâtre de Caen, George in Our Town with the Aspen Opera Theater, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Juilliard School, and The Soldier in Hello Again at the Manhattan Theatre Source.
A frequent recitalist, Morris has performed in concert with such artists as Stephanie Blythe, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, and Dawn Upshaw, and has enjoyed several seasons of performances with Brooklyn Art Song Society. His dedication to art song has led him to be named a Distinguished Alumnus and as of 2013, Associate Artistic Director of SongFest at the Colburn School. An avid activist for equal rights Morris has produced and performed in the concert series You Are Not Alone alongside Betty Buckley, Lea DeLaria, Aaron Lazar, Ricky Ian Gordon, John Tartaglia, Jeanine Tesori, and many more. The concerts have raised funds for The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Morris trained at the Juilliard School, at Bard College Conservatory under the direction of world-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw, with Peter Brook, and LeCoq under Marcello Magni. He was an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera and Tanglewood Music Festival, a Stern Fellow at SongFest, and a finalist of the Metropolitan National Council Middle Atlantic Region Auditions and Liederkranz Song Competition. He was the winner of the 2013 Vocal Arts DC Competition.
In the '58 production, conducted by Charles Mackerras, those roles were dutifully played by Jennifer Vyvyan and Peter Pears and for this current staging two very talented American-born singers took the bull by the horns - soprano Ariadne Greif and baritone Matthew Morris. They excelled (and looked very comfortable) in their respective roles.
Greif radiated a rich and warm soprano voice, strong and accurate, while her stage presence was mesmerising to say the least. She put in a thoroughly commanding and effortless performance that thrilled a packed house while Morris equally matched her vocal skills and stage prowess in every conceivable way.