Matt headshot 2.jpg

Matt R J Ward

Matt is the director and principal consultant with the Vocal Performance Initiative. Holding a Masters of Vocal Performance, Royal College of Music, London, Bachelor Classical Voice, West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Certificate II Music Theatre, West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Italiano Elementare I/A2, Centro Firenza (Florence), Matt is experienced as a singing teacher and vocal consultant. Having worked with amateur to professional singers and speakers over a 12 year period, Matt brings a wealth of personal industry experience from his work as a professional performer. 

Matt's teaching ethos incorporates the focus on the body as an instrument and its subsequent support of the vocal mechanism in speech and song. His passionate interest in all forms of vocal performance sees the work of the Vocal Performance Initiative span across three major projects in 2017 between the United Kingdom and Australia.

Matt has previously held posts such as Head of Church Vocals, Singing Teacher Guildford Grammar School, singing workshop leader in primary and high schools, singing workshop assistant with BBC Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Proms Sing Plus and Royal College of Music Education and is currently a member of the teaching panel at Croydon Music & Arts, London.

Performance credits include over 40 principal roles in Opera and Music Theatre between Australia and the United Kingdom. Matt's full performance biography can be read here.

Testimonies

Randy Hamminga, Director of Voice, Troode St Church (Albany, Australia): “Matt is a gifted communicator, whose passion for voice and drama ignites an audience. I have previously organised and attended an intense vocal workshop training, in which the content and delivery was at an exceptional world-class standard.”

Rae Lim, actor (London): “Matt is the consummate professional: he is not only able to produce singing techniques that I immediately was able to apply - and what a difference it made - but also audition techniques. As an actor, I could not recommend him more highly and although singing is not my main career, have decided to continue with lessons as the lessons have helped in my general audition technique.”   

Rasa Paunksnyte, student’s mother (London): “Over the last year, Leva (aged 11) improved enormously in her singing confidence. The best fact, which is a testament to Matthew's great voice teaching is that Leva was accepted to Trinity Laban Conservatoire London!”

Brenda Ward, Head of Music & Drama, Bethel Christian School (Albany, WA): “Matt’s rapport with the students and knowledge of his craft is always outstanding, and the pupils have benefited enormously... His philosophy of making the arts accessible to all students has provided clear and positive outcomes for every pupil involved.”

Alex Trouton, mature age student (London): “He is always encouraging and supportive and his own enthusiasm for singing is contagious! As a teacher is he insightful with the difficulties apprentice singers have and how to overcome them.”

Chelsea Crosby, Actor (Albany, Australia): “Matt's creativity & personable writing made for an engaging & entertaining play that I know the audience loved! Any opportunity to work alongside Matt is one not to be missed."

Michael Battersby, Head of Music Metrochurch (Perth, Australia): "My greatest commendation of Matt is with regards to his ability to work with people of all experience levels, age and background. He possesses a beautiful humility amidst his considerable proficiency and has always led others on and off the stage with maturity, conviviality and respect."

Enquires: matt@vpinitiative.com

Director & Principal Consultant

Press & Media

Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket

Charles Court Opera

“wonderfully disarming, he is especially funny when he forced to disguise himself as a woman”  Theatre Breaks

“the excellent Matt RJ Ward” - Carns Theatre Passion

 

★★★★

"A lugubrious version of Eleanor Rigby (Ward) is a particular stand out" 

  Everything Theatre

"Jiminy Cricket (Ward)

is a work of genius that delivers proper comic pathos"- Shaw Sheet

Matt as Jiminy Cricket

in Charles Court Opera's

Pinocchio

Die Zauberflote, Monostatos

Charles Court Opera

★★★★

“Ward turning the sinister Monostatos into an evil, pith-helmeted, gun-toting British imperialist, every character is moved one notch up the scale of pure fun and the audience loved it.”

EXPRESS by William Hartston

★★★★

“...always engaging with Ward as the Queen’s rifle-carrying henchman Monostatos looking like a colonial officer” British Theatre Guide

by Howard Loxton

★★★★

"Monostatos (Ward), was the sort of bally bounder your mother warned you about - all hands and unctuousness." Planet Hugill by Anthony Evans

Ward as Monostatos, Charles Court Opera

Paul Bunyan, Western Union Boy

English Touring Opera

Olivier Award-winning Opera

 

★★★★
“Matt R J Ward as the Western Union Boy had two brilliant dance moments, showing of his skills.”

Planet Hugill by Robert Hugill

“Even the Western Union Boy (tenor Matt R J Ward) was keen to get into the act, excitedly executing a polished table-top routine that would not have shamed Fred Astaire. “

Opera Today by Claire Seymour

Matt on set, at the Lindbury Studio Royal Opera House, with the ETO Olivier Award for Paul Bunyan

Hidden Valley

The Crow

St. Georges Concert Hall Bristol

World Premiere

Tales of Hoffmann, Franz

English Touring Opera

 
★★★★★ 

"A brilliant comic turn from Matt R J Ward."

The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen

★★★★

“Matt R J Ward provides the comedic highlight of the evening.”

The Reviews Hub, Claire Hayes

Matt (right) in English Touring Opera's Tales of Hoffmann.

“Ward’s delivery of his vainglorious song & dance routine could not be bettered.”

The Opera Critic, Catriona Graham

La Vie Parisienne, Frick

Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

“ Matt R J Ward’s witty performance as Frick was memorable, not only for his straight characterisation as a shoemaker but particularly for his disguise as a pompous major-general – fully the equal of Gilbert & Sullivan’s famous old buffer from The Pirates of Penzance.”

Classical Source by Curtis Rogers

“Matt R J Ward was deliriously over-the-top as Frick disguised as a general.”

Opera by Peter Reed

Frick in La Vie Parisienne

King Tut, Carter

Charles Court Opera

Kings Head Theatre London

★★★★★ 

"fantastic chemistry"

Theatre Weekly

★★★★★ 

"It's impossible to take your eyes off the performance for even a minute... tremendous performances"

London Theatre 1

★★★★

The Stage

★★★★

Broadway World

★★★★

"Inventive and hilarious... Ward as Howard Carter is charming to watch."

Love London Culture

 

★★★★

"Guaranteed to give you a good time... not just packed with laughs but splendid voices. Ward plays Carter, you can see why Evelyn fancies him."

British Theatre Guide

★★★★

"Excellent work from Ward... highlights include a glorious solo from Ward."

The Reviews Hub

Song writing with the audience.

40 Years Later

Concert at Albany's Historic Whaling Station

August 2017

"Ward’s spine-tingling voice echoed throughout the Skeleton Shed at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, captivating the audience with his harmonies and humble presence."

 

"Ward led the audience in creating their own song about whaling, after hearing an old recording of an interview with a whaler. The low hum of the audience and the “in the deep blue ocean” repeated chant was combined with a hint of sonar noise and Ward’s incredible vocals, crafting a unique piece of musical theatre to commemorate Albany’s whaling history."

Great Southern Weekender by Ashleigh Fielding

Under the Blue Whale skeleton in Albany.

McNish in the World Premiere of Shackleton's Cat, English Touring Opera.

Yeoman of the Guard

Fairfax

"I loved his wily, tongue in cheek delivery, and his superb vocals."

NODA by Stephen Macvicar

Matt performs Fairfax's monologue, for which he was nominated Best Male in G&S by NODA UK.