Anglo-Ghanaian born Matthew Kofi Waldren is known for his detailed, responsive and collaborative approach to music-making. Equally at home in the concert hall, recording studio and theatre pit, he has particularly established himself in the latter. Recognised for this innate sense of theatre he has become one of the UK’s foremost opera conductors. Matthew regularly collaborates with the UK’s major opera companies, orchestras, conservatoires and singers.
Recent seasons have included collaborations with Chineke!, Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and West Green House Opera. Matthew maintains a special relationship with London’s Opera Holland Park where he has appeared regularly as a Guest Conductor. Future plans include debuts with CBSO and CBSO Chorus as well as leading the world premiere of Migrations for Welsh National Opera, Jeanine Tesori's Blue for ENO and Les pêcheurs de perles for Opera North.
An acclaimed interpreter of Italian repertoire, recent and upcoming highlights include Rigoletto, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, La rondine, Zanetto, Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park), La bohème (Opera North, Opera Holland Park), Gianni Schicchi (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Opera Holland Park), Don Giovanni (Opera North), Le nozze di Figaro (English National Opera), L'Elisir d'Amore and La cenerentola (West Green House Opera). Other recent highlights include Pelléas et Mélisande (Scottish Opera), Lakmé, Les pêcheurs de perles and Fantastic Mr Fox (Opera Holland Park), Les mamelles de Tirésias (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Opera Linbury Theatre, Opera Holland Park, Wilderness Festival), Texting Heer (Royal Opera R&D) and Paul Bunyan (English National Opera).
Matthew’s debut studio recording - Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on Signum Classics - entered the specialist Classical Chart at Number 1. Further recordings on disc and film include Un ballo in maschera (Opera Holland Park, available on Vimeo), La petite bohème (Opera North ONDemand), and The Orchestra of Stories (Tom Hickox, Chineke!, Onyx Brass).
Despite the dreadful Covid effects on the arts world, in 2020 Matthew embarked upon several exciting collaborations. With the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North he recorded the soundtrack for the animation La petite bohème and collaborated with Neo-Soul singer Tawiah as part of Opera North’s Resonance programme. With the strings of Chineke! and Onyx Brass he conducted the recording of singer-songwriter Tom Hickox’s new album, The Orchestra of Stories. With Opera Holland Park and City of London Sinfonia he conducted a series of outdoor recordings and concerts featuring some of the UK’s finest singers.
Matthew was ENO Mackerras Fellow (2016-18) where his mentors including Mark Wigglesworth and Martyn Brabbins. Recent accolades include an Olivier Award nomination for ENO’s production Paul Bunyan at Wilton’s Music Hall and a ‘best newcomer’ nomination at the International Opera Awards.