Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovič (ma ta’ no vich) made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).
The 2021-2022 season brings Anya’s highly-anticipated return to Seattle Opera, singing one of opera’s most cherished roles, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as her return to Opera Santa Barbara, bowing as Violetta in La traviata. During the summer, she will sing Isotta in Richard Strauss’ Die schweigsame Frau at Bard Summerscape.
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 (cancelled) 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.
The 2017-2018 season saw the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, followed by an appearance with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor. The 2016-2017 season began with an anticipated return to Seattle Opera, as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. The season also included notable role debuts, including Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with Boston Lyric Opera, and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She also appeared in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony for Mendelssohn’s AMidsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Matanovič’s 2015-2016 season featured a debut with New Orleans Opera as Adele in Die Fledermaus.
The 2014-2015 season brought anticipated role debuts for Ms. Matanovič, as Violetta in La traviata with Boston Lyric Opera, as well as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in a return to Kentucky Opera. In the 2013-2014 season the soprano debuted with Opera Memphis, as Gilda in Rigoletto, Arizona Opera, for Musetta in La bohème, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, for Carmina Burana under Alastair Willis, and made a return to the Boston Youth Symphony, as Pamina in The Magic Flute.
During the 2012-2013 season, Anya Matanovič returned to Seattle Opera for Marzelline in Fidelio, and was praised for her “crystalline” and “substantial” tone (Seen and Heard International). She made her role debut as Gilda in Rigoletto with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and sang Pamina with both the Crested Butte Music Festival and Utah Opera. She closed the season as Wanda in a new production of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera.
In the 2010-2011 season, Anya Matanovič essayed her first Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Madison Opera, returned to Seattle Opera for Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, reprised the role of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Utah Opera, and made her anticipated role and company debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla in Carmen, conducted by Music Director David Angus.
The 2009 – 2010 season saw Ms. Matanovič‘s company debut as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Kentucky Opera, her official stage debut with Seattle Opera, as Nannetta in Falstaff, an appearance at Madison Opera’s “Opera in the Park”, and her debut with the Richmond Symphony as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana.
In the fall of 2008, Ms. Matanovič made her Opera Cleveland debut as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, conducted by Artistic Director Dean Williamson, and returned for their spring production of Verdi’s Falstaff as Nannetta. In summer of 2009, she joined the Seattle Opera artist roster for their internationally revered production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Stephen Wadsworth.
Other notable engagements include 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, and Santa Fe Opera, as a “pert, appealing” Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Ms. Matanovič is a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she appeared in their productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, as Flora, Mozart’s La Serva Padrona, as Serpina, and Falstaff, as Nannetta.
Anya 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. She appeared in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music productions of The Crucible, Gianni Schicchi, and Hänsel und Gretel.
Ms. Matanovič is equally comfortable on the concert stage, having appeared with the Portland (OR) Chamber Orchestra, Hoku Concert Series in Hawaii, the Palm Springs Orchestra and the Music of Remembrance Concert Series in Seattle. Ms. Matanovič was also 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.
Headshot by Arielle Doneson.
Utah Opera – La traviata
Anya Matanovic — a longtime company favorite in roles such as Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) — gives a knockout performance in the title role. This is the soprano’s second outing as Violetta, and she already invests the role with vocal sparkle and psychological depth.
She is wholly convincing as the carefree party girl of Act I, dazzling the audience with nimble coloratura in “Sempre libera.” Yet the character’s dignity and resolve as she agrees to sacrifice her happiness in Act II don’t come as a surprise, because Matanovic has already shown us this side of Violetta with her reflective, darker-hued “Ah, fors’ è lui.” By the time Violetta’s story reaches its heartbreaking end, the audience has become fully invested in Matanovic’s performance.”
Catherine Reese Newton, Utah Arts Review
Opera Colorado – La bohème
The entrance of Anya Matanovic (another debut) presented a promise of good things to come. Appropriately small and frail, she portrayed an instantly likable and sweetly fragile Mimi, singing with assurance and embracing a blessedly understated “Si, mi chiamano Mimì.”
Marc Shulgold, Opera News
“Soprano Anya Matanovic is the standout as the doomed seamstress, Mimì. Her Act I aria soars to radiant heights, and her death scene at the end is as believable as possible, with just the right vocal inflections as Mimì fades away.”
Kelly Dean Hansen, The Daily Camera
Boston Lyric Opera – The Rake’s Progress
Anya Matanovič was a magnetic Anne, singing with lilting, luminous confidence.”
Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe“A fine soprano with refined dynamic control, Anya Matanovic made a warm-voiced Anne.”David Shengold, Opera (UK)
Boston Lyric Opera – La Traviata
BLO has certainly been lucky in the rising star they’ve found to play Verdi’s fallen woman. Luminous soprano Anya Matanovic is blessed with a voice that more than matches her entrancing beauty: perhaps a bit hushed at the bottom, it nevertheless blooms to a glowing bouquet of color as it rises. What’s more, Matanovic has the effortless emotional presence of a born actress – and endows her Violetta with not only a passionate inner life but a convincing emotional integrity (which is a good thing, as she contemplates each and every romantic decision at length, and with utter candor)”
Thomas Garvey, The Hub Review
“As Violetta, the courtesan who sacrifices everything — money, health, and happiness — for love, Anya Matanovic brought a great deal to her first performance of the role. […] Her performance in Act II — thanks both to her skill and her partner in Weston Hurt as Germont — was the most musically complete and satisfying scene of the evening. And the floating pianissimo with which she sang “Addio, del passato” (Farewell, happy dreams) was ravishing and brought a trembling emotion to the final scene.”
Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News
“Soprano Anya Matanovic was making her debut in the notoriously challenging role of Violetta, the ‘traviata'(fallen woman) of the title. Conventional wisdom has it that this role requires three different types of singer: agile high coloratura, near-dramatic, and full lyric. Matanovic seldom gave any indication of being less at home in any one type. The light, brilliant writing of the famously demanding Sempre libera (“Always free”) came off well… her galvanizing coloratura credibly suggested Violetta’s faux-happy near-hysteria as she tried to drown out Alfredo’s offstage declaration of love for her. In II.i (Part 1, sc. 2), the most vocally taxing part of the role, Matanovic excelled in the big singing of her dramatic exchanges with Germont. Yet some of her loveliest singing of the evening was her accession to Germont’s request that she renounce Alfredo for the sake of his sister’s wedding; this aria, sung largely piano, had a purity and restraint that tugged at the heart. In Act III (Part 2, sc. 2), the soprano was lyrically beautiful in “Farewell to happy dreams”, otherworldly in “Take this portrait”, and vibrantly joyous as Violetta in her cruelly short revitalization.”
Geoffrey Wieting, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
” Matanovic is a flame that burns brightly. Her Violetta is played as coy and manipulative, but with a tender vulnerability. We forget that she’s a skilled courtesan and remember that she’s a young woman who’s never been loved for herself.”
Kitty Drexel, The New England Theater Geek
“The Violetta here, Anya Matanovic, is delightful. She has a crystal clear voice that does the trick for the demanding range required by the role. She is also a good actress, conveying the giddy sense of indifference required early on, and the devastated, then devotional, stances later on. ”
Boston Arts Diary
“La Traviata” may be Verdi’s romantic opera and Violetta his most heartbreaking heroine.BLO stage director Chas Rader Shieber has strikingly captured her transformation with a vocally strong and theatrically affecting performance by Anya Matanovic.”
Jules Becker, South End News
Santa Fe Opera – Grand Duchess of Gerolstein
The object of his love, Wanda…was sung with piquancy by Anya Matanovič…”
Simon Williams, Opera News
“His beloved Wanda, soprano Anya Matanovic, displayed a great deal more spirit and personality than the usual operetta soubrette ever does, and one could imagine her becoming a formidable despot herself, one day.”
William V Madison, GB Opera Magazine
“Soprano Anya Matanovic is an earnest, pure-toned Wanda.”
James M. Keller, The Santa Fe New Mexican
“Sung by radiant, clear-voiced Anya Matanovič, Wanda is eventually united with Fritz at the end.”
Maria Nockin, Opera Today
“…Wanda (sung with silvery lightness by Anya Matanovič, another former Santa Fe Opera apprentice)…”
Charles T. Downey, The Classical Review
“Anya Matanovič sings Wanda, Fritz’s long-suffering beloved, with artless charm. Their delightful first-act duet makes for a happy respite from all the surrounding hurly-burly.” John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter
Utah Opera – Die Zauberflöte
Soprano Anya Matanovic, as Pamina, and baritone Daniel Belcher, as Papageno, combined for a delicate, graceful “Bei Männern,” radiating vocal warmth and charm…. Matanovic’s stunning beauty and equally alluring voice were especially captivating in scenes with Belcher.”
Robert Coleman, Opera News
“As Pamina, Tamino’s love interest, soprano Anya Matanovic is breathtaking. She has the looks and demeanor to pull off the role of a young woman experiencing love for the first time, yet she also captured Pamina’s strength and courage in warding off Monostatos’ advances and her determination to lead Tamino through his trials. Her voice is crystalline and she brings nuanced subtleties to her singing.”
Edward Reichel, Reichel Recommends
“Matanovic combined vocal purity with a radiant stage presence that let the goodness of Pamina’s character shine through.”
Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra – Rigoletto
Anya Matanovič and Weston Hurt’s beautiful love duet “È il sol dell’anima” gave a powerful clarity to the role of Gilda, who seemed to mature from a young maiden into the full flower of womanhood through the power and increasingly more virtuosic use of her voice.”
Laura Stanfield Pricher, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Seattle Opera – Fidelio
Sharing the stage is a star-studded cast that shines individually and blends beautifully: young Anya Matanovic as a flirty Marzelline who falls improbably in love with ‘Fidelio’ (Leonore’s alias) and whose glossy soprano just gets better and better…”
Rosemary Ponnekanti, The News Tribune
Anya Matanovič was a charming, big-voiced Marzelline…”
Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times
Utah Opera – L’elisir d’amore
Matanovič’s lyric voice accurately traversed the composer’s bel canto score with sparkling purity, and her engaging duets with Blake and Nelman were some of the evening’s highlights.”
Robert Coleman, Opera News
Soprano Anya Matanovic made a most winsome Adina, with a glittering voice and abundant charm.”
Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune
Soprano Anya Matanovic dazzled as Nemorino’s love interest, Adina. Tasked with many of the musical fireworks of the production, Matanovic’s performance maintained a flirty playfulness, even while executing many of the evening’s most challenging selections.”
Travis Poppleton, Deseret News
Glimmerglass Festival – Carmen
As Micaela, Anya Matanovic displayed a lovely lyric soprano, enhanced by a fine-spun vibrato.”
Fred Cohn, Opera News
Anya Matanovič sang beautifully as Micaëla.”
Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union
Anya Matanovič was a sweet Micaëla.”
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
As Micaëla, Anya Matanovič — in her Glimmerglass Festival debut — delivered the most impressive vocal effort of the evening and a solid acting effort, as well. Dressed in a humble, plain-Jane costume, Matanovič projected an image of the iconic character Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz — fresh out of Kansas. She played her character to perfection, projecting an aura of innocence, simplicity and purity that contrasted sharply with that of Carmen…The lustrous quality of Matanovič’s sinuous soprano, with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, charmed the ears immediately when we first encounter her as a frightened peasant girl who has wandered far from home in search of her elusive fiancé. Her performance in the exquisitely written duet with Don José (Ma mère, je la vois) evoked endless shades of feeling and nuance.
“Matanovič’s signature third-act aria (Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante), which proved the artistic highpoint of the production, might have been used in a master-class to demonstrate nuance of phrasing, control of dynamics, maintaining quality of the high register and confident, effortless delivery. This was a first-class performance, and the most satisfying Micaëla I have heard to date.”
David Abrams, CNY Café Momus
Seattle Opera – Die Zauberflöte
Anya Matanovič, Marcy Stonikas, and Lindsey Anderson, as the Three Ladies, were individually excellent and well matched vocally.”
John F. Hulcoop, Opera News
Utah Opera – Hänsel and Gretel
Brilliant casting paired mezzo Leah Wool as Hänsel and soprano Anya Matanovič as Gretel. Both singers are diminutive in stature and displayed an unaffected playfulness that translated to credibility as youthful siblings. They also matched each other vocally, conveying a sense of tonal purity and stylistic range during the Act I duets. “Brüderchen, komm tanz mit mir” was sung with lighthearted clarity, but “Abends will ich schlafen gehn” became a transcendent, harmonically balanced gem as they revealed the simple lullaby’s emotional depth.”
Robert Coleman, Opera News
Anya Matanovič’s Gretel was so charming and dainty that her often challenging vocals seemed like the genuine playings of an imaginative little girl.”
Travis Poppleton, Deseret News
Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool and soprano Anya Matanovic displayed appealing chemistry as Hansel and Gretel on opening night. They played rambunctiously and squabbled like real siblings. Both singers also delivered strong vocal performances.”
Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune
Madison Opera – Le nozze di Figaro
The heart of the play is Anya Matanovič as Susanna, who embodies the wry humor and merriment in Mozart’s score. With a nimble, sweet soprano, Matanovic is a joy to watch, kicking her heels as she teases a rival about her age and taunting Figaro with a dramatic love song as he lies panting, “hidden” behind her.”
Lindsay Christians, The Capital Times
Seattle Opera – Falstaff
Matanovič sounded ethereal in Nannetta’s offstage “Ninfe! Elfi! Silfi!” then full-bodied and beautiful at center in the rest of the scene.”
Mark Mandel, Opera News
Most enchanting of all was Anya Matanovič, who spun Nannetta’s Fairy Queen air with such gossamer grace that the audience’s cheers nearly disrupted the act’s momentum.”
Theodore Deacon, Opera Magazine
Opera Cleveland – Falstaff
Anya Matanovič, last fall’s lovely Gretel at Opera Cleveland, floats Nannetta’s lines with radiant focus and inhabits the girl’s budding womanhood. It’s no wonder she casts a spell on Fenton…”
Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer
Anya Matanovič nearly stole the show as Nannetta, with her winsome personality and sparkling soprano. No wonder Fenton was in love with her!”
Kelly Ferjutz, CoolCleveland.com
…..[Fenton’s] ardent and rapturous duets with Anya Matanovič, his Nannetta, were delightful moments of amorous repose in a sea of turmoil. She actually looked like a teenager and sang her fairy song with limpid purity”
Alan Montgomery, Opera News
New Israeli Opera – La bohème
The casting was done conscientiously, with the roles assigned suitably to their respective singers, all of whom were vocally well-endowed. Formidably outstanding was Anya Matanovič, whose rich soprano credibly accomplished Musetta’s transformation from a femme fatale to a genuinely compassionate and devoted friend.”
Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post
Anya Matanovič was superb as a colorful Musetta with a beautiful color to her voice and stage charisma.”
Oran Binur, Maariv
All the singers are very good but above all are Anya Matanovič as Musetta and Adina Aaron….”
Michael Handelsaltz, Haaretz
Anya Matanovič was a perfect match for her as Musetta, beautifully altering her voice from the bright, glorious colors in her waltz … to the sensitive expression in the last act”
Jehoash Hirshberg, Opera News
Opera Cleveland – Hänsel und Gretel
Who couldn’t adore Anya Matanovič’s adorable and shiningly sung Gretel or Patricia Risley’s rambunctious hero of a Hansel? They interacted with sibling-rivalry glee and applied tender beauty to the prayer at the end of Act I.”
Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer
Anya Matanovič’s Gretel also fared well, vocally, and her winsomeness blended nicely with her practicality. Her manic sort of dance in the scene when the witch casts a spell was especially charming, and extra kudos to the soprano as well as the flute soloist in their second act duet. I’ll presume it was the principal…who matched her note for enchanting note!”
Kelly Ferjutz, CoolCleveland.com
Seattle Opera Young Artist Program – Falstaff
The emphasis on physicality here wasn’t limited to the corpulent titular character …. Fenton (the ardent tenor Noah Baetge) and Nanetta (given thrilling color by Anya Matanovič’s soprano, especially in her turn as the Fairy Queen) chased about the stage in heat…Along with Matanovič’s sweetly winning Nanetta…..”
Thomas May, Crosscut
Santa Fe Opera – Die Zauberflöte
It is always a pity that we do not see more of Papagena, especially when the role is sung so sweetly as it was by Anya Matanovič.”
Simon Williams, Opera News
Anya Matanovič is a pert, appealing Papagena….”
Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Anya Matanovič’s Media Page