Shawn Mathey

Toledo Opera casts Shawn Mathey in ‘Magic Flute’

Bowling Green native Shawn Mathey will perform of Tamino, the prince in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” with the Toledo Opera, Oct. 5 and 7 in the Valentine Theatre. Mathey, who has performed in lead roles with major companies around the world, has returned to Bowling Green. He earned his Master of Music from Bowling Green State University, where his wife Sujin Lee teaches, in December. He appeared in “Cavalleria Rusticana” in February, 2016 on campus. With the Toledo Opera he has performed lead roles in “Madama Butterfly” and “Faust.”  

BGSU opera production brings favorite son Shawn Mathey back to campus

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Operatic tenor Shawn Mathey’s career has taken him to stages around the globe. Now approaching a new stage in that career, he’s circled back home to Bowling Green. Looking to add teaching to his repertoire of skills, he’s treading the same halls his father Professor Emeritus Richard Mathey did for 32 years. That will bring him into the spotlight in the Bowling Green Opera Theater’s production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni. The one-act opera will be staged Friday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. Since 1998 when Shawn Mathey left BGSU to attend the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, he’s returned frequently. For the past few years he and his wife, Sujin Lee, an adjunct voice professor at BGSU, and their two daughters have made Bowling Green their permanent residence. Mathey’s visits, though, were a respite from a busy international career. Now he looks forward to adding teaching to his resume. He’s back studying at BGSU where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree before starting his musical studies. “Things are cooking,” Mathey said of his operatic schedule. That includes performing in John Adams’ “The Flowering Tree” in Lisbon this spring. “But you start looking ahead for the next phase, looking ahead to when you don’t want to be single handedly funding the suitcase companies.” Lee is the one who encouraged him to start laying the groundwork for an academic position now. Colleges want to hire singers who, as Mathey said, “can still honk.” But even a resume full of international performances and a diploma from a prestigious program is not enough to secure a teaching position in higher education. “The advanced degree is not an option,” Mathey said. So he’s studying to earn a master’s degree in vocal performance. He does what students do, addressing his teachers as “doctor” and “professor,” dreading music theory classes, and performing in an opera.   J “Cavalleria Rusticana” is not an opera usually done by colleges, said Jenny Cresswell, who plays Santuzza opposite Mathey’s Turiddu. “This is the quintessential verismo opera,” she said. The late 19th century Italian style favors earthy, realistic subjects and calls for heavier spinto voices. Like Mathey, Cresswell is a veteran operatic performer returning to earn a graduate degree. Those more mature voices, including as Turiddu’s mother Lucia, Betsy (Reichard) Bellavia, a former choral student of Mathey’s…