Michael Chance


Michael Chance has established a worldwide reputation as one of the foremost exponents of the male alto voice in all areas of the classical repertoire, and is in equal demand as an opera, concert and recording artist.

His vocal training with Rupert Bruce Lockhart followed an English degree at King’s College, Cambridge where he was also a choral scholar.  He has performed in the Sydney Opera House, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, La Scala Milan; in Florence, New York, Lisbon, Oviedo, Leipzig, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and with Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, and English National Opera. 

His roles include the title roles of Orfeo, Giasone, Giustino, Rinaldo and Ascanio in Alba, and Solomon; Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Athamas (Semele), Andronico (Tamerlano), Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Tolomeo (Giulio Cesare) and Apollo (Death in Venice). He has had roles written specially for him by Sir Harrison Birtwistle (Orpheus in The Second Mrs Kong) and Judith Weir (A Military Governor in A night at the Chinese Opera). Recent festival appearances include Edinburgh, Aix-en-Provence, BBC Proms, Salzburg and Bertarido in a new production of Handel’s Rodelinda for the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Appearances in oratorio and recital have taken him to concert halls all over the world. He sings regularly with the viol consort Fretwork and has toured with them to Japan and the United States. His list of recordings is numerous and widespread. He received a Grammy award for Handel’s Semele for DG. His recordings with John Eliot Gardiner include the Bach Passions and Cantatas, B Minor Mass, Monterverdi’s Orfeo and L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Handel’s Jeptha, Tamerlano and Agrippina. Other conductors he has recorded with include Trevor Pinnock, Franz Bruggen, Ton Koopman and Nicholas McGegan. His belief in extending the counter-tenor repertoire has prompted new work to be composed for him by Richard Rodney Bennett, Alexander Goehr, Tan Dun, Anthony Powers, John Tavener, and Elvis Costello, amongst others.

His television appearances include A Night at the Chinese Opera, Death in Venice, The Fairy Queen, the three Monteverdi operas with Netherlands Opera, Poppea with Welsh National Opera and Messiah in Dublin with Sir Neville Marriner.

Recent engagements have included a tour with the Israel Camerata, a recital of music by Purcell at the Athens Concert Hall, performances at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place with the Purcell Quartet, performances at the Concertgebouw, Handel’s Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music, Bach B Minor Mass with the Vasari Singers, a European tour of Bach’s St John Passion with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Britten Canticles in Santiago, and performances of Peter Cowdrey’s new opera,
The Lovely Ladies.

Future engagements include Handel’s Messiah in Maulbronn, Haydn Nelson Mass at the Tonhalle Zurich, the world premiere of John Barber’s Consider the Lilies at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and a recital at Wimbledon Music Festival.

Michael Chance was awarded the CBE in the 2009 New Years Honours List.

London Concert Choir concerts:

Swirl Background
(20 October 2010)