Matt Boehler ’98
Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre
Career: Professional Opera Singer and Actor
Viterbo theatre major Matt Boehler was walking down the hallway in a campus building one day when a sign caught his eye. It was a flyer inviting people to join concert choir.
“For some reason that flyer in the hallway just stuck out at me. I thought, ‘I’ll just do it for fun,’” Boehler said.
Fortunately for Boehler, and for music lovers everywhere, it was. Upon graduation, he was well on his way to becoming a successful opera singer with a lucrative, all-expenses paid scholarship to the Juilliard Opera Center in New York City.
Boehler’s journey of self-discovery began that day. He had extensive musical experience playing both the piano and trumpet, but he had no idea of his hidden potential as a singer. The choir director, Daniel Johnson-Wilmot, noticed Boehler and sent him to see fellow faculty member Jerry Benser. “I started taking lessons with Jerry once a week,” Boehler said.
“He obviously had a very big voice,” Benser said. “I could hear the instrument was there.” They continued working each week, until as Boehler described it, “things just started happening.”
“The walls came down,” Benser said of what happened. “When that happens, it’s just like the sun coming out.”
“My experience at Viterbo was very special,” Boehler said. “My training was not only thorough, but wide in scope. Today, a career in opera requires not only excellent singing, but serious acting skills as well. I chose Viterbo based upon the strength of the theatre program as well as the small class sizes. Over the years, after having spent a lot of time talking with colleagues about their experiences in undergraduate school, I was so happy to have chosen a liberal arts education instead of a more traditional conservatory program. Viterbo provided not only a great training program for actors and singers, but opened me to many learning experiences that have enriched me as an artist.”
Today, Boehler is a major opera star and has performed at some of the world’s greatest venues.
“I’m very grateful for having had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with many fantastic ensembles and in many wonderful venues,” he said.
Boehler is preparing for his debut at The Metropolitan Opera, as well as upcoming debuts with Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie (in Brussels) and Canadian Opera Company. Other career highlights include engagements with New York Philharmonic, Theater St. Gallen (in Switzerland), New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Minnesota Opera, Festival Opéra de Québec, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the New York Festival of Song. Some prominent roles over the years have included Leporello in Don Giovanni, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Sparafucile in Rigoletto and the title role in Sweeney Todd.
For much more about Matt Boehler, visit www.mattboehler.com.