Michael Chance


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 126-130 of 130 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Monteverdi: L'Orfeo / Gardiner, Rolfe-Johnson, Baird
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 419250 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Nancy Argenta,  Mary Nichols,  John Tomlinson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts
    CD: $35.99
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  • 127.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Welser-möst, Hendricks, Black, Chance
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54054 Release Date: 10/15/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Jeffrey Black,  Michael Chance,  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir,  St. Alban's Abbey Church Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 128.
    Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine / Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 429565 Release Date: 10/12/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel,  Sandro Naglia  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts,  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $35.99
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  • 129.
    Bach: St Matthew Passion / Gardiner, Rolfe Johnson, Et Al
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 427648 Release Date: 10/20/1989   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  Ann Monoyios  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists,  London Oratory Junior Choir
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    CD: $43.99
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  • 130.
    Handel: Messiah Highlights / Pinnock, Auger, Otter
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 427664 Release Date: 08/02/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Howard Crook,  Michael Chance,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Arleen Augér  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Concert Choir
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