5 Questions with Matthew Greenblatt
What do you love about the music of Mozart?
Mozart's compositions are elegant, beautiful and have a simple brilliance. His melodies are so pleasing to the ear and often go in the direction we want them to as listeners. Because of the simple perfection of the melodies, it leaves the performer very exposed and requires that he or she executes with ease, fluidity, and achieves a beautiful balanced line. It feels as though Mozart has often written perfection, so you really want to do it justice as the performer.
What is a special Mozart memory?
One of my most special memories with Mozart’s work was when I successfully performed Don Ottavio’s aria il mio tesoro from Don Giovanni for the first time. Il mio tesoro is an aria that I had been working on for many years, and many view as a sort of marathon for the tenor. It requires the singer to sing many long sustained notes in the passagio, along with a lot of coloratura, so I felt extremely accomplished when I was finally able to perform it. Il mio tesoro is one of my favorite arias and I will always enjoy trying to master all aspects of the piece. It is a never ending journey.
What is your favorite Mozart role?
I love the role of Don Ottavio because the vocal lines have a very lyrical quality, and are both expressive and technically demanding. The role is filled with both heroic and tender moments, and it is fun and challenging to play around with different vocal colors. Don Ottavio is a character with grace, nobility, and determination. I have performed scenes from Don Giovanni, and look forward to hopefully performing the entire role.
What are you most looking forward to about this summer’s performance?
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to sing a Mozart opera alongside my wife. Working through Bastien and Bastienne together has been very different from other music we’ve sung together. Its been fun to work on achieving balanced vocal lines that really complement each other and don’t interrupt the flow of Mozart’s beautiful melodies.
Any other thoughts on Mozart and his music?
Mozart’s music holds a special place in my heart. My grandfather was born in Vienna to a family of opera lovers, singers and pianists. Growing up, he would tell me stories of them performing Mozart’s music, and I listened to many Mozart operas with him.