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Peter Mattei studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. He debuted in Mozart's La finta giardiniera as Nardo at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in Stockholm in 1990. In 1993 Peter Mattei starred as Pentheus in the Ingmar Bergman's TV-film Backanterna. He sang the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni for the first time at the Gothenburg Opera in the 1994–95 season. In the same season, Peter Mattei performed as Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Swedish Opera.
Peter Mattei made his international debut as Don Giovanni at the Scottish Opera in Glasgow, Scotland. He was then invited to the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, Belgium and to the Aix-en-Provence Festival, France. His first appearance at the Salzburg Festival was in Beethoven's Fidelio, singing Don Fernando conducted by Sir Georg Solti in 1996. Claudio Abbado selected him as the bass soloist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2002, Peter Mattei made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera as Count Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. This role has been followed by, among others the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni in 2003 and Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville in 2006. With Don Giovanni he made a very successful debut at La Scala in Milan, opening the 2011–2012 season.