Matthew Thomson, originally from Melbourne, Australia, is a Barcelona-based Tenor who specialises in Baroque to Classical chamber and solo repertoire, in particular the music of Bach. Matthew also has a keen interest in performing contemporary compositions. In 2014 he completed a Master of Music (Performance Teaching) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, under the tutelage of Stephen Grant. Matthew also completed his Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the same institution in 2010 under the tutelage of Vivien Hamilton. Currently Matthew is maintaining his vocal study with Catalan Soprano, Marta Mathéu.
Since moving to Barcelona in September 2015, Matthew has worked with almost all of the professional vocal groups in the city, including; the Cor de Cambra of the Palau de la Música, Ensemble O Vos Omnes, Cor Francesc Valls, Cor Cererols, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Barcelona Ars Nova and Cor Pedrell. Matthew is also a member of newly formed group Sfere Vocali. As an ensemble singer, he has had the opportunity to perform with names such as; Jordi Savall, Lluís Vilamajó, Paul Agnew, Christoph Siebert, Eric Whitacre, Mark Minkowski, Gustavo Dudamel, Kaija Saariajo, John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Carrington, and more.
Matthew’s work as a soloist in Barcelona includes over 25 of Bach’s Cantatas, including the solo tenor cantata Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht BWV 55. In 2017 Matthew was awarded the BECA Bach (Bach Scholarship) with Bach Zum Mitsingen. He has also performed as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass with the Orfeó Català in the Palau de la Música. Some highlights in the world of contemporary music include the role of Prison Guard in David Lang’s opera Prisoner of the State and Tenor Soloist in opera Only the sound remains by Kaija Saariaho.
In April 2022 Matthew performed the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St John Passion in the Palau de la Música to rave review: “In the solo section, the great revelation was the extraordinary Evangelist played by tenor Matthew Thomson…This was his debut in the role and the results could not be better, since his voice adapts perfectly to its demands, both in color and tessitura. His narration was always vivid, always finding the right accents, remarkable voice projection and overwhelming stylistic mastery. There is no doubt that, in this role and in this repertoire, he can develop an important career.” – reviewed by Antoni Colomer in Opera Actual [April 26, 2022].
Some other highlights in Matthew’s career as a soloist include but are not limited to; the role of Orfeo in Club Monteverdi with group Vox Harmonica, the role of Don Ettore in Haydn’s La Canterina (in Catalan with opera company Teatre de les Comedies), España 1556 (with Melbourne-based Renaissance band La Compañia), Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers (2015 Newman tour of New Zealand; Advent Festival Newman College; Ballarat Organs of the Goldfields Festival), Jacopo Peri’s Euridice (the role of Tirsi – Woodend Winter Arts Festival), Bach’s B Minor Mass (Woodend Winter Arts Festival, Gloriana Chamber Choir), Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Vespers of a Confessor (WWAF), Handel’s Messiah (Barcelona and St Peter’s Eastern Hill). In early 2015, Matthew also performed as a soloist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Ballarat Organs of the Goldfields Festival, reviewed by Clive O’Connell in The Age [January 11, 2015] as an “eloquent and polished solitary contribution”.
While living in Barcelona, Matthew has also been a part of several CD Recordings. Antologia coral de Josep Ollé i Sabaté with Cor Pedrell, Cum Silentio with Cor Cererols, Epistulae ad Saggitarium with Ensemble O Vos Omnes, Bach ist meine freude with Bach Collegium Barcelona, J.S. Bach Markus Passion BWV 247 (1744) and Beethoven Missa Solemnis with La Capella Reial de Catalunya – Jordi Savall.
In European summer 2016, Matthew attended the Dartington International Summer School where he was the first recipient of the Dartington International Summer School John Amis Award through the Tait Memorial Trust. Matthew made the most of his two weeks at Dartington where he was a student in Dame Emma Kirkby’s masterclasses. Matthew performed solos in several concerts: Tenor soloist alongside Stile Antico performing Duo Seraphim in Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, Tenor soloist in Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, and to great success the roles of ‘Pyramus’ in John F. Lampe’s Pyramus & Thisbe and ‘Sailor’ in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas.
Before moving to Barcelona, Matthew performed regularly with a variety of different Melbourne-based professional choirs, such as; the choir of St Peter’s Eastern Hill, the Canterbury Fellowship, Astra Chamber Choir, Ensemble Gombert, Gloriana Chamber Choir and Consort of Melbourne, and was the senior choral scholar of Newman College Choir in 2015.
(Photo by Belinda Strodder)
Mudarra: Isabel (2017)
Live performance of Comfort Ye, from Handel’s Messiah