Due to the ongoing global pandemic, all of my contracted performances for this season have been canceled. This will prove to be a pervasive problem in the music community since there is no safe way to perform on the stage or to fill seats in venues. Like many musicians, I have found some solace in digital performances of works which I can sing with myself using the now-ubiquitous Acapella app, and I am eager to tackle other projects as they appear. These are unprecedented times for musicians. If you have an interest in collaborating with me or in any way supporting my artistic efforts through this period, please do contact me and I will be happy to discuss. I hope you and your loved ones remain safe, and I look forward to seeing your faces in the audience whenever the next season should arrive.
Baritone Matthew Sullivan’s voice has been described as “commanding” (Academy of Sacred Drama) and as a “consistent standout” (Washington Life). Sullivan is an avid recitalist and sought-after ensemble singer with a lyric baritone quality and enough heft in the basement to carry a bass section. Their interests fall particularly in the fields of historical performance practice and 20th century English song.
Recent performances include a recital of Michael Rickelton’s Battle Songs in Baltimore’s St. David’s Episcopal Church, bass soloist in Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium at St. Stephen’s in Ridgefield, CT, bass soloist in Händel’s Messiah with the American Baroque Orchestra, and Jesus in Bob Chilcott’s St. John Passion with the Burlington Choral Society. As a student at Yale, they sang Pilate in Schumann’s 1851 realization of Bach’s St. John Passion, bass soloist in both Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater and MacMillan’s Seven Last Words of Christ, and Herod in Schütz’s Weihnachtshisorie, all under David Hill with the Yale Schola Cantorum. In previous seasons, they sang as bass soloist for Bach’s Magnificat (BWV 243), Trauerode (BWV 198), Pilate and bass soloist for Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244b), Cantatas 147 and 172, Mass in G-moll (BWV 235), Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb (Op. 30), Durufle’s Requiem (Op. 9), Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem (Op. 45), Hasse’s Miserere, and both Jesus and evangelist in Pärt’s Passio. Prior to their studies at Yale, they sang as bass soloist for Telemann’s Der Tod Jesu (TWV 5:6), Handel’s Messiah, Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit (H. 9), Haydn’s Theresienmesse (H. 22/12), and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle.
In addition to their work as a solo artist, they have appeared with such ensembles as Bach Collegium Japan, Yale Voxtet, Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Recital Chorus, St. Thomas’s Schola Antiqua, Folger Consort, Mountainside Baroque, Friends of St. Bartholomew’s, Baltimore Baroque Band, Peabody Consort, Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, Bel Pianto, The Bridge Ensemble, and Opera Lafayette.
On the stage, they have most notably sung the title role of Ulisse in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Opera Studio Nederland, Achilla in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with the American Opera Theater, Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in scenes at the Peabody Opera Theater, Frank in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus with the Peabody Opera Theatre, and Lucas in Gluck’s L’Ivrogne corrigé.
An internationally recorded artist, Sullivan has been preserved on the Hyperion label both as the baritone soloist in Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem and as Herod on the Yale Schola Cantorum’s Christmas album featuring Schütz’s Weihnachtshistorie. Their work on the Brahms recording has been described as “forthright and honest” and “suitably vulnerable.” Previous to these works, they recorded Michael Rickelton’s Battle Songs for Albany Records, Felicien David’s Lalla Roukh with Opera Lafayette on Naxos, and theater music for Firaxes Games’s Civilization V. Of the Rickelton recording, Sullivan was described as “the best singer… strong and confident.”
Sullivan currently resides in Aberdeen, Maryland. They have previously appeared in masterclasses with Emma Kirkby, Christian Gerhaher, Julianne Baird, Peter Nilsson, Alexander Oliver, and Clara Rottsolk. Their undergraduate studies with baritones William Sharp and John Shirley-Quirk culminated in a B.Mus. from the Peabody Conservatory, after which they earned their Mus.M. at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music under tenor James Taylor.