Doing the Work is a podcast for anyone who’s ever tried to get good at something. Doing stuff is hard and it helps to know that we all face the same doubts, fears, and denials. If nowhere else, on this podcast we talk about all the hard work and humanity that goes on behind the scenes of your local opera houses, store-front theaters, improv classes, and conservatories. He talk about the pain and struggle that are necessary to live a happy and fulfilled life in the arts. And bourbon. We talk a lot about bourbon.
Matthan Ring Black holds a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance from Wichita State University and a Professional Diploma from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he spent two years as a Young Artist with Chicago Opera Theater. Matthan has recently performed the roles of Don Alvaro and Dandini in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims and La Cenerentola, Huy/The Doctor in the Chicago premiere of Daron Hagen’s Amelia at CCPA and Roderick Usher in a new realization of Debussy’s unfinished La Chute de Maison de Usher. Matthan recently made his main stage debut with Chicago Opera Theatre as Vagabond #2 in Carl Orff’s Die Kluge and was featured as an Apprentice Artist with Opera Southwest for their new world premiere of Franco Faccio’s lost Amleto. Other performances include Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Sid (Albert Herring), Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte), L’horloge Comtoise (L’enfant et les sortileges), Henry Davis (Street Scene), and The Lord High Chancellor (Iolanthe).
Matthan is also committed to classical vocal music in recital and concert. He recently performed in song recitals honoring the 50th anniversary of the death of Francis Poulenc and selections from La Traviata and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to celebrate the birthdays of Verdi and Britten. Matthan is also passionate about the preservation of art song in English through nontraditional performances of songs from composers such as John Adams, Ernst Bacon, Leonard Bernstein, Jake Heggie, and Lee Hoiby.
Matthan is the administrative secretary of Chicago Fringe Opera, a new arts ensemble committed to performing contemporary vocal works in English in nontraditional performance spaces. He is also an accomplished guitar player and jazz vocalist who has worked with many jazz and pop ensembles for concerts, weddings, and other occasions. In addition to performing, Matthan is the co-owner and chief engineer of True Capture Recording, a Chicago based recording company dedicated to supplying young artists with affordable, high quality recordings.