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Matthew Lau

Associate Professor of Music - Voice
While at Simpson, I am thrilled to teach private voice, music history, vocal literature and musical theatre while continuing my international operatic career with major opera companies and symphonies.


Known for his charismatic portrayals, Bass, MATTHEW LAU is among the most versatile performers on the American opera circuit today.  Career highlights include New York City opera premiers of Teatro Gratacielo’s La Cena delle Beffe, Robert Ward’s Claudia Legare, and Arnold Schönberg’s Moses und Aron.   His career has taken him to the opera companies of Seattle, Houston, Minnesota, Arizona, Atlanta, Tulsa, Nashville, Kentucky, Milwaukee, Portland, Hawaii and Anchorage Operas. He has also enjoyed extensive collaborations with Sarasota Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

Favorite roles include Sulpice in La Fille du Régiment, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri, Osmin in Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail, both Basilio and Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Don Pasquale, Banquo in Macbeth, Oroveso in Norma, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Méphistophélès in Faust.

On recording Mr. Lau can be heard on the Grammy winning NAXOS recording of Elmer Gantry as Rev. Baines, in The Truth About Windmills singing the part of  Lawson with Vox Records. 

Recent engagements include Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, and the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance, all with The Pensacola Opera.  Opera Theatre of St. Louis featured Mr. Lau as Henry Moser in Emmeline in 2015, and as Uncle Albert in the American premier of Philip Glass’ The Trial in 2017.  2018 began with a return to Cedar Rapids Opera as the Mandarin in Turandot.  Future engagements include concerts in North Carolina, Michigan, and Illinois.


  • Experienced private and academic voice teacher
  • Experienced classroom instructor in music history of the 16th and 17th Centuries, vocal literature, and the history of American Broadway Musicals
  • International experience performing in opera and oratorio                                              
  • Strong background in theatre and dance
  • Experienced singing and teaching diction in French, Italian, German, Russian, Czech, Danish


  • 2012 Two Grammy Awards singing Reverend Baines in Robert Aldridge’s operatic setting of Elmer Gantry on Naxos Records
  • 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Trio Program, Simpson College
  • Merola Competition: National finalist
  • The Metropolitan Opera Auditions: Regional winner
  • Sullivan Award, Indiana University
  • John Galin Spencer Award, Central City Opera Company


Education        MM                 Eastman School of Music

                                                Masters of Vocal Performance and Literature

                        BS                    Indiana University

                                                Bachelor of Science in Music

                        BS                    Indiana University

                                                Bachelor of Science in Theater


  • Naxos Recording of Elmer Gantry by Robert Aldridge (2 Grammy Awards)
  • Vox Recording of The Truth About Windmills by Alex Wilder
  • Vox Recording of Cappriccio by Richard Strauss from Carnegie Hall
  • National Broadcast of Salome from The Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • National Broadcast of Il Tritico from The Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Iowa Public Radio Broadcasts of La Traviata and Turandot