Manon / Royal Opera House

Fiona Maddocks

The Observer

... this American tenor has a voice of steel and milk, authority and the utmost controlled gentleness: reason enough to go to this revival.”

“Polenzani has come a long way since I last heard him; I hardly recognized his voice, which has grown considerably into a much heavier sound. This is perfectly suited to the demands of the role, however, and coupled with his talent for bringing drama to life worked well. His Act III aria was a polished piece of heartfelt pain, but, more than that, Polenzani nailed every note right in the centre of the pitch—actually not as common as one might expeect.”
— Michael Migliore, Musical Criticism

“Matthew Polenzani as Des Grieux is very effective with his clean, expansive and highly pleasing sound, and when he throws himself into ‘Ah! Fuyez, douce image’ the result is magnificent.”
— Sam Smith, Music OMH

“Matthew Polenzani acquitted himself well as Des Grieux; His eloquent voice was virile and secure throughout its entire range and a highlight of his performance was a honeyed account of the aria ‘En fermant les yeux’ in which Des Grieux relates his dreams of their idyllic future wedded bliss, which had exquisite high pianissimos.”
— Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

“As Des Grieux, tenor Matthew Polenzani combines sensitivity and steel in singing that rides all Massenet’s lush orchestral climaxes; the gentle yet fervent hope in his second-act aria is beautifully conveyed.”
— Erica Jeal, The Guardian Unlimited