Moby-Dick / Washington National Opera / 2014

Photo courtesy of Washington National Opera/The Kennedy Center

Photo courtesy of Washington National Opera/The Kennedy Center

"In his way as tormented as Ahab, Starbuck received a ringing, nuanced performance from baritone Matthew Worth. In his first exchange with Greenhorn, the sternness that Mr. Worth conveyed quickly gave way to kindness, and the power of his attempts to persuade Ahab of his folly radiated virile dignity. Mr. Worth’s voice is a lovely instrument, and his attention to maintaining precision of pitch and clarity of diction never prevented him from filling moments of greatest dramatic stress with muscular, unmistakably exasperated tone."
Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts

"The rest of the ensemble did valiant work, especially the rich-toned Matthew Worth as the conflicted Starbuck..."
Tim Smith, Opera Magazine

"Matthew Worth used his warm, supple baritone to keen effect as Starbuck, the conscience of the Pequod. His vocalism proved especially rich and telling in the scene when, in an impressive aria that contains an intriguing hint of "E lucevan le stelle," Starbuck thinks of his far off family and considers murdering Ahab."
Tim Smith, Opera News 

"In contrast was Matthew Worth's measured performance as Starbuck. Worth's baritone voice seemed a perfect fit for a good man, continually overruled by a fanatic captain. The opera's high points were the moments in which Tanner and Worth shared the stage, exploring the relationship between Ahab and Starbuck and the boundaries each considers crossing to resolve their conflicts. We in-turn see how it's more than the seas that are troubled aboard The Pequod. Moby-Dick has done more than just take Ahab's leg, he's begun to turn good men bad."
Benjamin Tomchick, Broadway World

"As first mate Starbuck (and yes, the name inspired the current ubiquitous coffee chain), baritone Matthew Worth functions as the lone voice of reason as he attempts to temper Ahab’s—and the crew’s—headlong pursuit of disaster. Although the opera doesn’t make it clear, Melville’s Starbuck is a practicing Quaker, a practical and empathetic man driven by equal doses of piety, morality and pacifism. All of this pits him, albeit reluctantly, against the captain, while at the same making him feel compelled to save the crew from Ahab’s excess.

All of this makes Starbuck something of a stiff character, but he’s the necessary opposing force in the plot. Mr. Worth’s bell clear baritone instrument is somehow able to articulate his character's complexity as his Starbuck wars within himself in a desperate attempt to carry out his sworn duty to his captain while remaining true to himself and his men. It’s a marvelous, upstanding performance."
Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News