Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera’s. 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).
Recent seasons brought anticipated role debuts for Ms. Matanovič, as Violetta in La traviata with Boston Lyric Opera and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in a return to Kentucky Opera, and as Dorinda in Handel's Orlando in director R.B. Schlather's exhibition in New York City, and Adele in Die Fledermaus with the New Orleans Opera Association. Additionally, the soprano joined the Cleveland Orchestra for the Second Maid in Strauss’ Daphne; Franz Welser-Möst leads the performances at Cleveland’s Severance Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York as part of the Lincoln Center Festival.
In the 2016-17 season, she returns to Seattle Opera to sing Gretel, Boston Lyric Opera in the role of Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, a role and house debut at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and a return to the Cleveland Orchestra for Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
In the 2013-14 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. The previous season, Anya returned to Seattle Opera for Marzelline inFidelio, and was praised for her “crystalline” and “substantial” tone (Seen and Heard International). She made her role debut as Gilda in Rigoletto withBoston 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.
During the 2012-2013 season, the soprano 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. The 2011-2012 season included returns to Utah Opera, as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, and Kentucky Opera, as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, along with appearances with the Boston Youth Symphony, for Nannetta in Falstaff, and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra for a concert featuring works by Mozart. In the 2010-2011 season, Anya Matanovic essayed her first Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro withMadison 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. Matanovic‘s company debut as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel withKentucky Opera, her official stage debut with Seattle Opera, as Nannetta in Falstaff, and her debut with the Richmond Symphony as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana. She also appeared in Madison Opera’s Opera in the Park concert. In the fall of 2008, Ms. Matanovic made her Opera Cleveland debut as Gretel in Humperdinck’sHänsel 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. Matanovic was a member of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, and spent two summers as an apprentice singer with the Santa Fe Opera. She 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. Matanovic 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 theMusic 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. She is a co-founder of NachtMusik, an operatic outreach group dedicated to bringing opera to the many different communities of Los Angeles.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Issaquah, Washington to a Slovenian-born father and an American mother, the soprano, her husband, television writer John P. Roche, and their daughter, Zara, spend their time between Vermont, Los Angeles and New York.