Praised for his “rich baritone” and for singing with “power, insight, and flawless delivery,” Baritone Matt Hanscom is enjoying success across the continent. Matt began his 2020 season at Sarasota Opera making a role debut as Mercutio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette before theaters across the country were closed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2018-19 season began at Minnesota Opera as “Sleepy” Bill Burns and Fred McMullin in the workshop of the the world premier opera The Fix by Joel Puckett with libretto by Eric Simonson about the betting scandal in the 1919 World Series. This was followed by a return to Sarasota Opera for what Opera News called an “extraordinary” Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. Finally another return, this time to the Sacramento Choral Society for Mendelssohn’s secular cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht, started the spring season. The 2017-2018 season consisted of Escamillo in Carmen with the Spokane Symphony followed by de Brétigny in Manon for Opera Santa Barbara. Holiday concerts with the Sacramento Choral Society and Diablo Symphony were followed by the Father in Hansel and Gretel for Stockton Opera and Carmina Burana with the Sacramento Ballet. The season ended with concert performances for the Minnesota Opera. During the 2016-2017 season he was heard as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Marcello in La Boheme all with Opera San Jose. He joined the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra for Mozart’s Requiem, the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra for Home for the Holidays, and performed in the West Coast premiere of Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night.
Matt has enjoyed success at the highest levels of national and international competition. He was an international finalist in the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition in Gütersloh, Germany. He is a former national semi-finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition as well as a former national semi-finalist in Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers. In consecutive years he was a district winner, followed by a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and can be seen in the documentary film “The Audition”.
Possessing both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, Matt is an alumnus of many of the nations premier training programs such as Wolf Trap Opera’s Filene Young Artist Program, the Santa Fe Opera, the Merola Opera Program, Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist Program, Chicago Opera Theater, Sarasota Opera Studio, and Central City Opera.
Matthew Hanscom is a veteran of over 150 operatic performances across a multitude of styles and languages. Below you will find a sampling of performance reviews that reflect his consistently excellent artistry.
Albert H. Cohen reviews Sarasota Opera's production of Roméo et Juliette for the Tampa Herald Tribune.
"...standouts among supporting cast members are baritone Matthew Hanscom as Mercutio...The two male voices are resonant and full, giving these important parts the impact merited."
Phillip Gainsley reviews Sarasota Opera's production of 'Die Zauberflöte' for Opera News
"All of the performers were good, but the Papageno of baritone Matthew Hanscom was extroardinary. An alumnus of the company's studio artist program, Hanscom gave an exhaustive interpretation of the birdcatcher."
Edward Alley reviews Sarasota Opera's production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte for the Sarasota Observer
"Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the text of the opera and was the first
Papageno, seemed determined that he would have enough moments of humor to balance the somber moments in the story, and Matthew Hanscom was certainly up to that task...his burly baritone rang true in his two audience-pleasing arias."
Georgia Rowe reviews Opera San Jose's production of La bohème for the San Jose Mercury News.
"Baritone Matthew Hanscom sounded impressively robust throughout the evening, offering a likeable, big-hearted characterization as Rodolfo’s painter friend, Marcello."
James Sohre reviews Opera San Jose's production of La bohème for Opera Today.
"Baritone Matthew Hanscom has also contributed many enjoyable performances during his time with OSJ, but none have been more impressive than his beautifully rendered Marcello. Mr. Hanscom sports a big, burnished tone with plenty of buzz and sheen. As the painter, he displays a sense of arching line that is wonderfully controlled and highly satisfying."
Joshua Kosman reviews Opera San Jose's production of Kevin Puts' "Silent Night" for the San Francisco Chronicle
"The Scottish forces, who tend to sing in austere, bracing melodic lines, are led by a thoughtful, bluff lieutenant (baritone Matthew Hanscom)..."
Tad Malone reviews Opera San Jose's production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the website MetroActive.com
"The standout performance belongs to Matthew Hanscom as Figaro. Demonstrating easy command over his powerful, yet flexible, voice, Hanscom focuses on channeling the comedy through his face. His expressions—hilarious and cartoonish—are incredibly emotive and clearly capture Figaro's passionate but lackadaisical personality."
Charlise Tiee reviews Opera San Jose's production of Lucia di Lammermoor for the website San Francisco Classical Voice
"Baritone Matthew Hanscom...was much more interesting as Enrico. His powerful sound did well for the anger required of the role, but he was able to temper his vigor and truly seemed regretful in the end."
James Sohre reviews Opera San Jose's production of Lucia di Lammermoor for the website Opera Today
"His is a beautifully rich, rolling instrument that possesses allure and power in all registers..."
Tad Malone reviews Opera San Jose's production of The Marriage of Figaro for the website MetroActive.com
"Count Almaviva, played by Matthew Hanscom, is the most gullible, incompetent, yet multi-dimensional character. The actor's tittering portrayal of a mixture of anger and befuddlement is fantastic, and is important in centering the silly static of many of the other characters."
Elijah Ho reviews Opera San Jose's production of Tosca for the San Jose Mercury News
"Chief of police Scarpia is Puccini's first formidable role given to a baritone, and this most interesting of creations was played by the star of the evening. Matthew Hanscom's depiction of Scarpia was simply a work of art. In a substantial role offering few moments of sustained cantabile, the former Merolini (2007) gave a commanding, transformative performance. His presence conveyed a masculine authority, frightening, even as he attempted to woo his love interest -- his character made inspiring and repulsive all at once. The flexibility of Hanscom's acting was something to admire and reflect on, as he reveled in the ruthless, and more nuanced, even tender qualities of the villain."
Richard Scheinin reviews the world premier of Opera San Jose's production of Mark Lanz Weiser's opera Where Angels Fear to Tread for the San Jose Mercury News
"As Gino, Matthew Hanscom showed off his robust baritone and acting know-how: This Gino is at once arrogant, savvy, naive, violent and, above all, tender."
Georgia Rowe reviews Opera San Jose's production of L'Italiana in Algeri for Opera News
"Matthew Hanscom’s fluent singing was an asset in the role of the avuncular suitor Taddeo; the baritone, a natural comedian who never pushed too hard for laughs, created the opera’s most likable character."
Heather J. Morris reviews Opera San Jose's production of Rigoletto for Peninsula Reviews
"Baritone Matthew Hanscom’s Rigoletto was superb. He took us along on his emotional roller coaster ride with a wonderful versatile voice, full of expressive personality and technical prowess."