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Michael Chance

Michael Chance is a leading British countertenor, in worldwide demand for male alto parts in opera, and as a recital, concert, and recording artist. He was a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge, an adult-voice singer at the famous Choir of King's College Cambridge, receiving a full scholarship for singing daily services in the College Chapel during the school term. His major subject at Cambridge was English, but he received thorough musical and vocal training as a matter of course as a choral scholar.

After graduation, he studied voice with Rupert Bruce Lockhart. His operatic debut was in the Buxton festival, where he sang the part of Apollo in Ronald Eyre's production of Cavalli's Giasone in 1983. He was a member of Kent Opera for three seasons. In 1985, his European debut was in Lyon, as Andronico in Handel's Tamerlano (1985).

He rapidly established a strong reputation. He is one of the newer sort of countertenor, whose vocal production is well supported and natural-sounding. As the bulk of the countertenor repertory is in Baroque opera, he has sung Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Ottone in Handel's Agrippina and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, and as Orpheus in both the Gluck and Monteverdi operas.

However, he is equally admired for his performances in newer operas featuring countertenors, and his roles in 20th century opera include Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Voice of Apollo in the same composer's Death in Venice, the Military Governor in Judith Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera, and in Harrison Birtwistle's The Second Mrs. Kong. The latter two parts were written for him, for he is active in promoting new works. Composers he has worked with include Alexander Goehr, Richard Rodney Bennett, John Tavener, Anthony Powers, Tan Dun, and Elvis Costello.

He has sung at major opera houses such as the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, La Scala of Milan, at Covent Garden in London, and in opera houses in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Sydney.

Chance has made numerous recordings, including the Grammy Award-winning release of Handel's Semele with John Nelson conducting. Other recordings include Mozart's Ascanio in Alba, Goehr's The Death of Moses, and Rolf's Carmina Burana as well as the major oratorios and choral works of Handel and Bach. He appears in major festivals, such as the Glyndebourne Summer Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His concert appearances have taken him to major cities of Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, Japan, and Australia.

As a chamber recitalist he often works with the Baroque viol ensemble Fretwork, with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, and Paul Beier. His programs can range from Renaissance lute songs to newly commissioned music.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Pergolesi: Stabat Mater; Salve Regina; In Coelestibus Regnis

Title: Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major
Title: Salve Regina, For Soprano, Strings & Organ In A Minor
Title: In Coelestibus Regnis, Antiphon For Alto, Strings & Organ
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Track List: The Sypres Curten Of The Night: Elizabethan & Jacobean Lute Songs

Composer: Thomas Campion
Title: Never Weather-Beaten Sail For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol

1. Never Weather-Beaten Sail For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol: Never Weather-beaten Saile

Title: Author Of Light, Revive My Dying Spright For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol

2. Author Of Light, Revive My Dying Spright For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol: Author Of Light

Title: Cypress Curtain Of The Night

3. Cypress Curtain Of The Night: The Syspres Curten Of The Night (Thomas Campion)

Composer: Thomas Ford
Title: Since First I Saw Your Face, Song For 4 Voices & Instruments

4. Since First I Saw Your Face, Song For 4 Voices & Instruments: Since First I Saw Your Face (Thomas Ford)

Title: Faire Sweet Cruell For 4 Voices & Instruments

5. Faire Sweet Cruell For 4 Voices & Instruments: Fauire, Sweet, Cruel (Thomas Ford)

Composer: Antony Holborne
Title: Heres Paternus For Viol Consort

6. Heres Paternus For Viol Consort: What Then Is Love Sings Coridon (Thomas Ford)

Composer: Philip Rosseter
Title: No Grave For Woe

7. No Grave For Woe: Here Paternus (Anthony Holborne)

Composer: Antony Holborne
Title: The Night Watch, For Viol Consort

8. The Night Watch, For Viol Consort: The Night Watch

Title: Muy Linda For Viol Consort

9. Muy Linda For Viol Consort: Drop Not Mine Eies (John Danyel)

Composer: John Dowland
Title: I Saw My Lady Weep, For 2 Voices & Lute (Second Book Of Song)

10. I Saw My Lady Weep, For 2 Voices & Lute (Second Book Of Song): I Saw My Lady Weep

Title: Shall I Strive With Words To Move, For 4 Voices & Lute (A Pilgrimes Solace)

11. Shall I Strive With Words To Move, For 4 Voices & Lute (A Pilgrimes Solace): Shall I Strive

Title: Sorrow, Stay, Lend True Repentant Tears, For 2 Voices & Lute (Second Book Of Songs)

12. Sorrow, Stay, Lend True Repentant Tears, For 2 Voices & Lute (Second Book Of Songs): Sorrow, Stay

Title: Can she excuse my wrongs, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)

13. Can she excuse my wrongs, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs): Can She Excuse My Wrongs?

Composer: Antony Holborne
Title: Fantasia For Lute No 3

14. Fantasia For Lute No 3: Fantasia No.3

Composer: Philip Rosseter
Title: What Then Is Love But Mourning

15. What Then Is Love But Mourning: What Then Is Love But Mourning?

Composer: John Danyel
Title: Griefe Keepe Within

16. Griefe Keepe Within: I Saw My Lady Weepe (John Dowland)

Title: Drop Not, Mine Eyes

17. Drop Not, Mine Eyes: Shall I Strive With Wordes To Move? (John Dowland)

Title: Have All Our Passions

18. Have All Our Passions: Sorrow, Stay, Lend True Repentant Teares (John Dowland)

Composer: Thomas Ford
Title: What Then Is Love Sings Coridon

19. What Then Is Love Sings Coridon: Can She Excuse My Wrongs? (John Dowland)

Composer: Philip Rosseter
Title: Shall I Come If I Swim?

20. Shall I Come If I Swim?: Fantasia (Anthony Holborne)

Composer: Anonymous
Title: Miserer My Maker

21. Miserer My Maker: Miserere My Marker (Anonymous)

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