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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

1. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: I. Duet: Stabat Mater Dolorosa

2. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: II. Aria (Soprano): Cuius Animam Gementem

3. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: III. Aria (Alto): O Quam Tristis Et Afflicta

4. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: IV. Duet: Quae Moerebat Et Dolebat

5. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: V. Aria (Soprano): Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret

6. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: VI. Aria (Soprano): Vidit Suum Dulcem Natum

7. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: VII. Aria (Alto): Eja, Mater, Fons Amoris

8. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: VIII. Duet: Fac, Ut Ardeat Cor Meum

9. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: IX. Duet: Sancta Mater, Istud Agas

10. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: X. Aria (Alto): Fac, Ut Portem Christi Mortem

11. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: XI. Duet: Inflammatus Et Accensus

12. Stabat Mater, For Soprano, Alto, Strings & Organ In F Major: XII. Duet: Quando Corpus Morietur

Title: Salve Regina, For Soprano, Strings & Organ In A Minor

13. Salve Regina, For Soprano, Strings & Organ In A Minor: Largo: Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae

14. Salve Regina, For Soprano, Strings & Organ In A Minor: Allegro: Larghetto. Ad Te Clamamus Exsules

15. Salve Regina, For Soprano, Strings & Organ In A Minor: Andante: Eia Ergo Advocata

16. Salve Regina, For Soprano, Strings & Organ In A Minor: Largo: O Clemens, O Pia

Title: In Coelestibus Regnis, Antiphon For Alto, Strings & Organ

17. In Coelestibus Regnis, Antiphon For Alto, Strings & Organ: In Coelestibus Regnis

x

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
Title: Author Of Light, Revive My Dying Spright For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol
Title: Cypress Curtain Of The Night
Composer: Thomas Ford
Title: Since First I Saw Your Face, Song For 4 Voices & Instruments
Title: Faire Sweet Cruell For 4 Voices & Instruments
Composer: Antony Holborne
Title: Heres Paternus For Viol Consort
Composer: Philip Rosseter
Title: No Grave For Woe
Composer: Antony Holborne
Title: The Night Watch, For Viol Consort
Title: Muy Linda For Viol Consort
Composer: John Dowland
Title: I Saw My Lady Weep, For 2 Voices & Lute (Second Book Of Song)
Title: Shall I Strive With Words To Move, For 4 Voices & Lute (A Pilgrimes Solace)
Title: Sorrow, Stay, Lend True Repentant Tears, For 2 Voices & Lute (Second Book Of Songs)
Title: Can she excuse my wrongs, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs)
Composer: Antony Holborne
Title: Fantasia For Lute No 3
Composer: Philip Rosseter
Title: What Then Is Love But Mourning
Composer: John Danyel
Title: Griefe Keepe Within
Title: Drop Not, Mine Eyes
Title: Have All Our Passions
Composer: Thomas Ford
Title: What Then Is Love Sings Coridon
Composer: Philip Rosseter
Title: Shall I Come If I Swim?
Composer: Anonymous
Title: Miserer My Maker

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