Matthew Cerillo

Matthew Cerillo




Freehold, New Jersey


Matthew Cerillo is an Italian-American tenor from Freehold, New Jersey. This May, Matthew received his Masters in Music from The Mannes School of Music in the studio of Arthur Levy. He is also a graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelors in Voice Performance. Most recently, Matthew was a finalist in the 2022 Giulio Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition. Matthew is a proud winner of an Encouragement Award from the 2022 Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. He has also placed 3rd in both the NAO Carolyn Bailey Competition as well as the MTNA National Competition. Matthew has participated in Ukrainian Artists Music in Kiev (with the National Presidential Orchestra of Ukraine), Music in the Alps in Bad Gastein, West Chester Summer Vocal Institute in Bronxville, and the Oyster Bay Music Festival in Oyster Bay. Matthew has most recently performed as a lead character in a workshop for a new opera by Missy Mazzoli; working in collaboration with the composer. Matthew has also performed the role of Tamino for Hofstra University's 2020 production of Die Zauberflöte, Don Basilio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Demetrius (The Fairy Queen), as well as Dianna Trapes, Filch, and Ben Budge (The Beggar's Opera). 

What are you most enjoying so far or most looking forward to in the PORA program?

When you are a Resident Artist at Portland Opera, you and your talent are fostered like no other program. The endless generosity and support I receive from the staff is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Not only am I supported fundamentally as a musician, but this team goes the extra mile to make sure we are living a high quality of life outside of the company. I never feel like I’m replaceable or just another singer.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

Dolly Parton is someone I constantly aspire to be like in my daily life. Not only is she one of the greatest writers and musicians of our time, her spirit and generosity is integral to her artistry. From her philanthropy to her witty one-liners, if I could even have a fraction of the legacy she leads, I would feel my life as an artist was complete.

Do you have any dream roles you'd like to perform?

Don José was always a dream role and Portland Opera has allowed me to do a study-cover of one of my favorites!A role from a rarely performed opera that I would love to bring back is Michele from Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street. I’ve been preparing for my first Alfredo (La Traviata) and Rodolfo (La Bohème) hopefully someday soon. In the long run, I would love to perform Cavaradossi (Tosca) and my all-time favorite: Canio in Pagliacci.

(Q&A published October 21, 2022)

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