Lyric Opera of Chicago

Tenor Matthew Polenzani debuts with the Chicago Bears

Press Release Letterhead
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bear Down, Chicago Bears!!
Internationally renowned tenor & Wilmette native
Matthew Polenzani,
at Lyric Opera of Chicago Oct. 1-29,
will debut with the Chicago Bears singing the National Anthem
at the Sept. 25 game against the Green Bay Packers

Internationally acclaimed American tenor Matthew Polenzani grew up rooting for the Chicago Bears. It’s no wonder that the Wilmette native is thrilled to make his Soldier Field debut singing the National Anthem before the Bears face off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, September 25.

Polenzani is in Chicago to make his role debut as the title character in The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach at Lyric Opera of Chicago Oct. 1-29. The company’s 57th season opens Sat., Oct. 1. Polenzani has sung several leading roles at Lyric in operas including Verdi’s La Traviata, Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. He is an alumnus of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and has performed extensively with the Metropolitan Opera and other top companies internationally.

He has been hailed for “the beauty, refinement and expressivity of his singing” by The New York Times and numerous other publications.

“I asked if I could wear my Urlacher jersey, but they said business casual,” said the tenor. Polenzani’s only previous engagement singing the national anthem was for the Chicago Blackhawks, when he was an ensemble member of the Ryan Opera Center (1995-97). His colleague from the Ryan Opera Center, tenor James Cornelison (1996-98) is the official National Anthem singer for all Blackhawks’ home games.