Tenor Matthew Kirchner grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Among his teachers was Renata Scotto. In three seasons with Opera San Jose (1995–97) he sang Don José in Carmen, Alfredo in La Traviata, Lensky in Evgeny Onegin, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Canio in Pagliacci, and the title roles in Xerxes and Faust. A winner in the 1997 Opera Index Competition, he appeared as Calaf in Turandot with the Minnesota Opera in 2000 and as Don José with the Hawaii Opera Theater in 2002. Kirchner made his European debut with the Royal Danish Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, a role he repeated with the Connecticut Grand Opera.