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Michael Chance

Biography

Born: March 7, 1955; Penn, Buckinghamshire  
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 Read more 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 twentieth 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 over 50 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 and with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert. He teaches at the Royal College of Music as a Visiting Professor. Read less
Cavalli: Giasone / Jacobs, Chance, Banditelli, Dubosc
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 921282   Number of Discs: 3
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Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, Et Al / Waschinski, Chance, Et Al
Release Date: 04/25/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557447   Number of Discs: 1
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Agricola: Chansons / Michael Chance, Fretwork
Release Date: 08/08/2006   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 907421   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 153 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Opus Arte Monteverdi DVD 3-Pack
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4987 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Liang Ning,  Brigitte Baileys,  Michael Chance,  Cynthia Haymon  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset,  Glen Wilson,  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques,  Concerto Palatino,  Tragicomedia
    On sale! $44.99
    DVD: $37.49
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  • 2.
    Cavalli: Giasone / Jacobs, Chance, Banditelli, Dubosc
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 921282 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Pier Francesco Cavalli
    Performer:  Gloria Banditelli,  Michael Schopper,  Gian Paolo Fagotto,  Agnès Mellon  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Vocale
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  • 3.
    New Music Collections: Electronic
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 205 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Smalley,  Richard Barrett,  anna Meredith,  Rajmil Fischmann  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Smalley,  Daryl Buckley,  Richard Barrett,  Sound Intermedia  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bernas,  Christia Christian Eggen,  Guy Protheroe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cikada Ensemble,  Elision Ensemble,  Spectrum  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Countertenor Duets & Solos - Purcell, Blow / Bowman, Chance
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55447 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Blow,  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Alison Crum,  David Miller,  James Bowman  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Consort
    CD: $12.99
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  • 5.
    Britten: A Ceremony Of Carols / Neary, Westminster Abbey
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802218 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Timothy Dickinson,  Michael Chance,  Ian Bostridge,  Martin Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Martin Neary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
    CD: $12.99
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  • 6.
    John Danyel: Like As The Lute Delights
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33903 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Danyel
    Performer:  Paul Beier,  Michael Chance
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  • 7.
    Choir of King's College Cambridge - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 940823 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel,  Gregorio Allegri  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Lochmann,  Richard Eteson,  Margaret Cameron,  James Gilchrist  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of Ancient Music
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Bach Masterworks - The Original Jackets Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001929902 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Hertha Töpper,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Maria Stader,  Ernst Haefliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Reinhard Goebel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  English Baroque Soloists  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 9.
    Couperin: Lecons De Tenebres / Bowman, Chance, King, Caudle
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55455 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Couperin
    Performer:  James Bowman,  Michael Chance,  Robert King,  Mark Caudle
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  • 10.
    Bach: Cantatas / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog: 186 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Christoph Bach,  Johann Kuhnau,  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Wilke te Brummelstroete,  David Henschel,  Joanne Lunn,  Paul Agnew  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Cambridge Trinity College Choir  ... 
    CD: $298.99
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  • 11.
    Essential Opera Collection [19 DVDs]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 6000 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggero Raimondi,  Daniela Dessi,  Fabio Armiliato,  Lorenzo Regazzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurizio Benini,  Victor Pablo Pérez,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Teatro Real Orchestra,  Madrid Teatro Real Chorus,  Paris National Opera Chorus  ... 
    DVD: $148.99
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  • 12.
    Monteverdi: L'orfeo / Ainsley, Balleys, Stubbs, Chance
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 6007 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  John Mark Ainsley,  Brigitte Balleys,  David Cordier  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Palatino,  Tragicomedia
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 13.
    Discover... Bach
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001909902 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Simon Preston,  Mischa Maisky,  Trevor Pinnock,  Simon Standage  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $8.99
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  • 14.
    Henry Purcell: Music For A While
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2012129 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Nigel North,  Richard [Viola da Gamba] Boothby,  Maggie Cole,  Michael Chance
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  • 15.
    Joseph Phibbs: The Canticle Of The Rose
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 191 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Phibbs
    Performer:  Helen-Jane Howells,  Ben Alden,  Andrew Plant,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Navarra String Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    St Matthew Passion
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 3001 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Michael George,  Martyn Hill,  Emma Kirkby,  Rogers Covey-Crump  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir
    On sale! $53.98
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  • 17.
    Awake, Sweet Love - An Anthology of Lute Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94710 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alessandro Piccinini,  Giovanni Kapsberger  ... 
    Performer:  Jakob Lindberg,  Mario D'Agosto,  Francesca Torelli,  Luciano Contini  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 18.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 19.
    Purcell Collection
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94665 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Linda Perillo,  Jamie MacDougall,  Mark Tucker,  Brian Bannatyne-Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Ottavio Dantone,  Jed Wentz,  Paul McCreesh  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Concert Choir,  Accademia Bizantina  ... 
    CD: $58.99
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  • 20.
    50 Best Chillout Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332942 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Gregorio Allegri,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Juliette Hurel,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Handford,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Stephen Cleobury,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Ahn Trio,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    A Year With Jesus
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 2667 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Francis Poulenc,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Jacques Neilz,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Parrott,  Philippe Herreweghe,  Harry Christophers,  David Hill  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Choir,  The Sixteen,  Seminario Musicale  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 22.
    All-Baroque Box (From Monteverdi To Bach) [50-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001719702 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Paul McCreesh,  Marc Minkowski,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Gabrieli Consort  ... 
    CD: $179.99
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  • 23.
    Bach: St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Mass In B Minor, Easter & Christmas Oratorios / Cleobury, Fasolis, Schweizer
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94382 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Michael George,  Martyn Hill,  Emma Kirkby,  Rogers Covey-Crump  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Diego Fasolis,  Rolf Schweizer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Chorus  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 24.
    Sublime Discourses / Michael Chance, Sophie Yates, Fretwork
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 341 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Martin Peerson,  John Milton
    Performer:  Michael Chance
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Orff: Carmina Burana
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 02306 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Jeffrey Black,  Michael Chance,  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Alban's Abbey Church Choir,  London Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $7.99
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