Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovič (ma ta’ no vich) joins the roster of the Metropolitan Opera this season to cover Violetta in all performances of Verdi’s La Traviata. The 2021-2022 season brought Anya’s highly-anticipated return to Seattle Opera, singing one of opera’s most cherished roles, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She brought her dynamic interpretation of Violetta to Opera Santa Barbara, and joined Bard SummerScape as Isotta in Strauss’s Die Schweigsame Frau, under the baton of Leon Bostein.
The soprano’s engagements during the COVID-19 impacted 2020-2021 season included Freia in Jonathan Dove’s adaptation of Das Rheingold (performed) and Violetta in La Traviata (postponed) with Opera Santa Barbara, as well as performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, plus concert excerpts by the composer, with the Santa Barbara Symphony (cancelled). During the COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season, Ms. Matanovič returned to Utah Opera as Violetta in La Traviata (performed), and joined the Santa Barbara Symphony for performances of Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (performed). The previous season included a return to Utah Opera as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, and a role debut as Abigail Williams in The Crucible with Opera Santa Barbara. Additionally, she joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover Ginevra in Ariodante.
Ms. Matanovič made her professional opera debut, directly from her undergraduate studies, as Mimì in the Los Angeles commercial engagement of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of La bohème, and made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La bohème with the New Israeli Opera. She has returned to Seattle Opera on numerous occasions since her time there as a young artist, including roles such as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Marzelline in Fidelio, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Nanetta in Falstaff. She has twice joined Santa Fe Opera, as Wanda in a new production of Offenbach's The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein and Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She made her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla in Carmen, under the baton of David Angus.
Other notable engagements include her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress and Violetta in La traviata with Boston Lyric Opera, Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Madison Opera, and New Orleans Opera as Adele in Die Fledermaus. She joined New York City Opera as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, as well as productions of Massenet’s Cendrillon, La bohème, and Purcell’s King Arthur.
Her signature roles in addition to Violetta include Musetta (Arizona Opera, New Israeli Opera), Gilda (Opera Memphis, Boston Youth Symphony), Gretel (Seattle Opera, Utah Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Cleveland), and Pamina (Boston Youth Symphony, Crested Butte Music Festival, Utah Opera).
Ms. Matanovič is equally comfortable on the concert stage, having appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony for Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, for Carmina Burana under Alastair Willis, Richmond Symphony as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor, Portland (OR) Chamber Orchestra, Hoku Concert Series in Hawaii, the Palm Springs Orchestra and the Music of Remembrance Concert Series in Seattle.
In addition to her training in the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, she studied at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Ms. Matanovič was a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been a prizewinner in competitions sponsored by such institutions as the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Buffs, Leni Fe Bland, and the Sun Valley Opera.