When Matthew Plenk steps on stage, he aims to communicate emotion to the audience in a way words cannot express through performance. Matthew is a seasoned tenor with countless performances in opera houses across the globe under his belt. Denver Philharmonic’s collaboration with Central City Opera, The Elixir of Love in Concert, will be his first live performance since the covid lockdown in March 2020—and he’s especially enthusiastic to be performing the role of Nemorino in the production.
Matthew began at the Met Young Artist Program and is currently a professor of voice and opera ensemble at the University of Denver and artistic director of Lamont Opera Theater. It’s fair to say he knows a thing or two about the voice and he’s on a mission to share this wealth, shepherding students to their artistic potential and the audience into an idyllic dream.
A busy professor and father, Matthew can’t perform every day but his passion for opera is reignited each time he does, and he relishes connecting with the audience on a musical level. “Everyone makes the choice to come see a performance. Knowing that people are there to support you as an artist or are there to enjoy the performance makes me want to connect with the audience on not just a musical level but an emotional level,” Matthew explained.
Over his career, Matthew has been surrounded by talented colleagues from whom he draws inspiration. renowned Italian soprano, Renata Scotto taught him about Italian, style, and singing technique in general. “She is certainly someone that I constantly think about especially when preparing Nemorino, where it’s all about the bel canto [“beautiful singing”] and the ease and use of the voice, in a way that it makes difficult music to sing seem very easy, smooth and heartfelt,” Matthew said.
Those lucky enough to hear Matthew perform at the Elixir concert will experience his expert Italianate voice and want to hang onto every last note. Matthew Plenk is joined by his good friend soprano Anna Christy and baritone Armando Contreras for the November 4 and 6 performances.