Matthew Swensen - Penfield

You might say opera is in Matthew Swensen's blood.  Both of his parents are professional opera singers who teach at the Eastman School of Music.  "I remember when I was a kid in elementary school, one kid would say, 'my mom's a nurse, my dad's a doctor, my dad's a businessman,' and I would say 'my parents are opera singers,'" Matthew says.  "Initially everyone would think they go around wearing viking helmets and the shields, but no, that's a rumor, that's not true!"

This Penfield High School senior has consistently won top honors in local, regional and national vocal competitions.  He just took third place in the Classical Singing Competition in Los Angeles.  In Rochester, he won third place in the prestigious Barbara Staropoli Vocal Competition at Nazareth College.  Matthew routinely sings with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

  "Where I know I will see him is at the Metropolitan Opera and  I plan to be there in that front row cheering him on," says Penfield Vocal Music teacher Diane Abrahamian.  "I know he'll be there, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when!"

"I really love to do this," Matthew says.  "I love to be able to share my love of classical music with other people and I can't see myself doing anything else."

 Next year Matthew will study vocal performance at the Boston Conservatory of Music.  He's got the talent to take him great places around the world. And to think, it all began at home!


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