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
Browse 1-25 of 130 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Handel: The Great Oratorios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002522302 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Ian Partridge,  Emma Kirkby,  Patrizia Kwella,  Carolyn Watkinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Trevor Pinnock,  Harry Christophers  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  English Baroque Soloists,  Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir  ... 
    On sale! $103.98
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  • 2.
    Bach: Cantatas & Motets / Bernius, Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Concerto Cologne
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88697962552 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Christoph Prégardien,  Peter Kooy,  Ruth Ziesak,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Frieder Bernius,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Concerto Cologne,  Tölz Boys Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $19.99
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  • 3.
    Purcell: England, My England - Monteverdi: Balli, e balletti / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 554474 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  David Blackadder,  Michael Chance,  James Bowman,  Lynne Dawson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $12.99
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  • 4.
    Landi: La morte d'Orfeo / Elwes, Stubbs
    Label: Pan Classics   Catalog: 10331 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stefano Landi
    Performer:  Wilfried Jochens,  Myra Kroese,  Michael Chance,  John Elwes  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Currende Consort,  Tragicomedia
    CD: $29.99
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  • 5.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 6.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 7.
    Dowland: In Darkness / Beier, Chance
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33914 Release Date: 09/01/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland
    Performer:  Paul Beier,  Michael Chance
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Emma Kirkby: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 550589 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giaches de Wert,  Robert Jones,  John Dowland,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Ewing,  Evelyn Tubb,  Andrew King,  Rufus Müller  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley,  Charles Medlam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke,  London Baroque
    CD: $25.49
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  • 9.
    Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra - The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875030622 Release Date: 06/16/2015   Number of Discs: 47
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanne Lamon,  Stephen Marvin,  Christina Mahler,  Ivars Taurins  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon,  Bruno Weil,  Frieder Bernius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik,  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Tölz Boys Choir  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $67.49
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  • 10.
    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,  Agnčs Mellon  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Vocale
    CD: $14.99
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  • 11.
    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: $13.99
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  • 12.
    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
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 13.
    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: $117.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $45.99
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  • 20.
    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
    CD: $58.99
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  • 21.
    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: $90.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    A Year With Jesus
    Label: Erato   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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  • 24.
    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: $138.99
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  • 25.
    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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