Der Rosenkavalier / Metropolitan Opera

Wilborn Hampton

The Huffington Post

... Matthew Polenzani delivers a star turn as the Italian tenor."

Wilborn Hampton – The Huffington Post

“In this production, Matthew Polenzani was dressed as an Enrico Caruso look-alike, and handed the Marschallin one of his records, in its paper sleeve, before singing his aria. Polenzani was fully up to the challenge of impersonating one of the greatest singers of all time in one of the most beautiful pieces in all of opera — and Carsen had everything else on stage stop so that everyone could listen while he sang in a spotlight, giving the moment the frame it deserves, and making it one more memorial to lost innocence and past grandeur. Kudos to Polenzani for pulling it off.”

Anne Midgette – Washington Post

“A textbook celebrity cameo, Matthew Polenzani makes an entertaining appearance as the Italian Singer, strutting about, Caruso-like, and sporting a marvelous, golden tenor.”

Eric C. Simpson – New York Classical Review

“The scene evolves into near-bedlam, as the princess receives various petitioners and is entertained by an Italian tenor (here, Matthew Polenzani in fine voice).”

Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times

“As the Italian Singer, tenor Matthew Polenzani arrived onstage dressed as Caruso and presented the Marschallin with one of his recordings before singing with panache and ping.”

James L. Paulk – Classical Voice America

“A host of notable singers joined the cast including a very popular cameo by American tenor Matthew Polenzani. He had his 15 minutes of fame, the limelight and a thunderous ovation following his beautiful rendition of Di Rigormi armato il seno in the role of “an Italian singer.”

Opera World

“Of course, Matthew Polenzani cannot be ignored as the Italian tenor and his portrayal is an example of what Carsen does so well with his characters. Instead of being a generic singer, Polenzani’s was a true leading divo of his day, entering as if he were the most important man in the room. He handed the Marschallin a record and then went on to sing his famous aria, his voice blossoming with the lush bright colors that the American tenor possesses. No line was too high or challenging for Polenzani, his vibrato growing in intensity as Strauss’ riveting score climaxed. Audiences erupted with applause after the first recitation. The tenor then went over to flirt with some ladies, his decision to sing once more driven by his desire for a conquest. Here he sang with even more passion from the off, hinting at the character’s truer intentions. Of course, when he was cut off, he walked off stage, throwing a tantrum on his way out.”

OperaWire