After an apprenticeship as an electrician, Hagen Matzeit studied singing as a baritone
with Bernd Riedel in Berlin, he also took classes in directing with Ruth Berghaus,
Peter Konwitschny and Harry Kupfer. In 1999, the Richard Wagner Association and the
Komische Oper Berlin granted him a scholarship.
Hagen Matzeit has been a frequent guest at the Komische Oper Berlin for several years.
As a baritone he participated in productions such as 'Zwei Berliner in Paris' and
'Der Buerger als Edelmann', he sang Pistol in Verdi`s Falstaff directed by Andreas
Homoki and was Dancairo in Harry Kupfer`s staging of Carmen, he appeared as Sid in
Albert Herring, Nathanael in The Tales of Hoffmann, Hofnarr in ‘Das Maerchen vom
Zaren Saltan’ (Rimski-Korsakow) and as 5th Clown in Henze`s opera ‘Koenig Hirsch’.
In 2005, he made his muscial debut at the Komische Oper as Anthony in Sweeney Todd
and in the 2006-07 season he guested in the Komische Oper's 'Concerts for the New
Year', this was followed with great success in the seasons of 2007-08 and 2008-09
by Aegeus in a new production of Handel`s opera Theseus and the two gangster parts
–alternately- in Kiss me Kate. In the role of Harry in Robin Hood, an opera for children
staged by Andeas Homoki, Hagen had the opportunity to show his talent as a singer,
actor and comedian as well.
In 2011-12 (with revivals in 2012-13 and 2013-14) Hagen returned to the Komische
Oper Berlin as Elviro in Handel’s Serse. This part was arranged especially for him,
who is singing it by switching from the baritone to the counter-tenor register. In
2012-13 Hagen guested in the same production as well at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein
in Duesseldorf (Director: Stefan Herheim, Conductor: Konrad Junghänel) and will reprise
it in 2014 at Graz Opera and in 2015 again in Duesseldorf.
Engagements in the ancient music fields have been leading Hagen to further renowned
venues: In 2009, he appeared in the title role of the opera Argenore by Wilhemline
von Bayreuth, directed by Axel Köhler, at the Markgräfliches Theater Bayreuth. In
the 2010-11 season, he performed the title-role in Handel’s Admeto at the Leipzig
Opera and Goffredo in Handel’s Rinaldo at the Cologne Opera. In 2011-12, he sang
the title role in the Lautten Compagney Berlin’s production of Handel’s Rinaldo under
Wolfgang Katschner, which he reprised at the Karlsruhe Handel Festival in 2014. At
the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music 2012 he appeared as Armillo in the opera La
Stellidaura Vendicante by Francesco Provenzale under the baton of Alessandro De Marchi,
and reprised this role at Musikfestspiele Postdam Sanssouci in 2014. In 2012/13,
he performed Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina at the Halle Opera, and appeard in Purcell’s
King Arthur in a co-production of Staatsschauspiel Dresden and Saxonian State Opera
(Semperoper Dresden) followed by a revival in 2014.
As well in 2014, he sang the
title role in Handel’s Arminio at the Halle Handel Festival under Bernhard Forck,
staged by Nigel Lowery. Concerts in 2013-14 have included: baroque arias from Purcell
to Handel at Classic Open Air on the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, renaissance and baroque
works at Innsbruck Festival of Early Music with instrumentalist from the renowned
Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin under Bernhard Forck, and Handel’s Messiah with the
Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under Peter Shannon in the USA.
In 2015-16, Hagen Matzeit will make his debut at the Norske Opera Oslo in Monteverdi’s
‘Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria’ under Alessandro De Marchi.
Besides engagements at the Schauspiel Frankfurt, Nationaltheater Mannheim, the Deutsche
Oper Berlin and the Teatro Capitol de Toulouse, Hagen has been invited to sing at
the Hollandfestival in Amsterdam, at the Arts Music Brussels and the Melbourne Australian
In contemporary music he has appeared in the leading role of Hans Scholl in ‘Die
Weisse Rose’ by U. Zimmermann at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, in
the title role of J. Rihm’s ‘Jakob Lenz’ at the De Singel in Antwerp, Opéra de Bastille
Paris and subsequently at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. At the Schwetzinger Festspiele
2008 he was engaged as a counter-tenor for the role of Fürst Clearte in the world
premiere of the opera HYBRIS/Niobe by Adreana Hölszky. At the festival Ruhrtriennale
2010 he appeared in the role of Madschnun in the world premiere of Samir Odeh Tamimi’s
work Leila und Madschnun, staged by Willy Decker. In the opening production of the
Aix-en-Provence Festival 2011 Hagen made his debut in the leading role of Aymar in
the world premiere of Oscar Bianchi’s opera Thanks to my Eyes -staged by Joël Pommerat-
with the Ensemble Modern under Franck Ollu (Live transmission by ARTE TV). In 2012,
Hagen reprised this production at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, at
the Fondation Gulbenkian in Lisbon and other venues. As well in the 2011/12 season,
the counter-tenor sang the title role in the world premiere of the opera Jakub Fluegelbunt
by Miroslaw Srnka at the Semperoper in Dresden (Saxonian State Opera) followed by
a revival in 2014.
Hagen Matzeit has worked under renowned conductors such as Michael
Jurowsky, Yakov Kreizberg, Vicente de Laranága, Fabio Luisi, Allessandro De Marchi,
Franck Ollu, Alejo Perez, Kyrill Petrenko, Peter Rundel, Federico Maria Sardelli,
Peter Shannon, Andreas Schüller, Peter Tomek and Achim Zimmermann as well as with
directors such as Willy Decker, Sabine Hartmannshenn, Stefan Herheim, Andreas Homoki,
Axel Köhler, Harry Kupfer, Tobias Kratzer (Team ATEF), Jürgen Nass, Alexander Paeffgen,
Benedict von Peters, Carolin Petrick, Joël Pommerat and Erik Sleichim.
In 2006, Hagen sang and played in the highly successfull ‘Casanova-revue’ at the
Friedrichstadtpalast Berlin and in the 2007 Christmas-revue ‘Jingle Bells’, in both
as a baritone and a counter-tenor.
Together with his brother Friedemann Matzeit, Hagen Matzeit composes music for film,
tv and theatre, compositions include the stage music for the productions Iphigenie
in Aulis and Leben ein Traum for the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Der Sturm for the
Puppentheater Halle and Die Vögel for the Deutsches Theater Berlin.