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 26-50 of 130 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Orff: Carmina Burana
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 02306 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Michael Chance,  Jeffrey Black,  Jeffrey [Baritone Vocals] Black  ... 
    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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  • 28.
    Bach: St. John Passion / Cleobury, Brandenburg Consort [2 CDs+DVD]
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94316 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  John Mark Ainsley,  Stephen Richardson,  Catherine Bott,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    The Complete Bach Edition
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 664202 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 154
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Max van Egmond,  Kurt Equiluz,  Paul Esswood,  Walter Gampert  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Jaap Schröder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Chorus Viennensis,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $398.99
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  • 30.
    Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, The Indian Queen / Hogwood, Bott, Kirkby, Ainsley, Thomas
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001650902 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Gerald Finley,  Thomas Williams,  Catherine Bott  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music Chorus,  Academy of Ancient Music Chamber Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music
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    CD: $21.99
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  • 31.
    Choral Classics - Palestrina: Masses
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94266 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Performer:  Brian Etheridge,  Stephen Roberts,  Gordon Jones,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Brown,  Bruno Turner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $24.99
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  • 32.
    Shakespeare - Come Again, Sweet Love / Daniel Taylor
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 72722 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Edward Johnson,  Robert Jones,  Thomas Robinson  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Taylor,  Emma Kirkby,  Elizabeth Kenny,  Jacob Heringman  ... 
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  • 33.
    Bach: Christmas Oratorio / Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 96334 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Barbara Schlick,  Michael Chance,  Howard Crook,  Peter Kooy
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Vocale
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    CD: $12.99
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  • 34.
    Purcell: Odes / Pinnock, The English Concert And Choir
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 427663 Release Date: 04/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Tim Wilson,  Stephen Richardson,  Jennifer Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Concert Choir
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 35.
    Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Cleobury, Chance, Hill, Kirkby, King's College Choir
    Label: House Of Classics   Catalog: 220305 Release Date: 01/25/2011   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
    Recommendation
    CD: $29.99
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  • 36.
    Bach: Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba And Harpsichord, Arias / Pandolfo, Hunninger
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 920411 Release Date: 12/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Paolo Pandolfo,  Markus Hunninger,  Harry Van der Kamp,  Michael Chance  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 37.
    Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri, Laudate Pueri Dominum / Kirkby, Thomas, Fretwork, Purcell Quartet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 775 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Matthias Weckmann
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Charles Daniels,  Emma Kirkby,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Purcell Quartet
    Recommendation
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  • 38.
    Bach: Weihnachts-Oratorium / Herreweghe, Schlick, Chance, Crook, Kooy
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 90781 Release Date: 04/22/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Howard Crook,  Barbara Schlick,  Michael Chance,  Peter Kooy
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Vocale
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    ArkivCD $33.99
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  • 39.
    The Handel Collection / The Sixteen [12-CD Set]
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16080 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Jonathan Best,  Matthew Vine,  Michael George,  Catherine Wyn-Rogers  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  The Symphony of Harmony and Invention
    Recommendation
    CD: $68.99
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  • 40.
    Purcell: Songs / Michael Chance, Florilegium
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93937 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Michael Chance
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble
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    CD: $8.99
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  • 41.
    Maxwell Davies: Taverner / Knussen, Asbury, Bbc Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 157 Release Date: 11/24/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Maxwell Davies
    Performer:  John Graham Hall,  Peter Hall,  Peter Sidhom,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Stefan Asbury,  Oliver Knussen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  New London Children's Choir,  London Voices  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
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  • 42.
    Musica Sacra - Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Cleobury
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93941 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Michael Chance,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Michael George
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Brandenburg Consort
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 43.
    The World Of Ian Bostridge
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467788 Release Date: 10/21/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Nyman,  Igor Stravinsky,  Benjamin Britten,  Gerald Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Catherine Bott,  Ian Bostridge,  Hilary Summers,  Rosemary Hardy  ... 
    Conductor:  Dominique Debart,  Reinbert De Leeuw,  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Normandy Orchestral Ensemble,  Schönberg Ensemble,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 44.
    England My England - Music From Original Soundtrack
    Label: Voiceprint   Catalog: 1572 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  David Blackadder,  Michael Chance,  James Bowman,  Jennifer Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Henry Purcell - England, My England
    Label: Tony Palmer Films   Catalog: 1475 Release Date: 09/15/2009  
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Paul Agnew,  Michael Chance,  Nancy Argenta,  Lynne Dawson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
    DVD: $17.99
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  • 46.
    Bach: Cantatas Bwv 140 & 147 / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 431809 Release Date: 08/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance,  Ruth Holton
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 47.
    Bach: Cantatas Vol 4 / Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists
    Label: Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog: 156 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Kuhnau
    Performer:  Katharine Fuge,  Richard Wyn Roberts,  Kobie van Rensburg,  Stephan Loges  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
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  • 48.
    Tavener: Fall & Resurrection / Hickox, Rozario, Chance
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 841 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Tavener
    Performer:  Patricia Rozario,  Michael Chance
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 49.
    The NMC Songbook
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 150 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Roderick Williams,  Rupert Bawden,  Bayan Northcott,  Emily Howard  ... 
    Performer:  Iain Burnside,  Roderick Williams,  Huw Watkins,  Jean Rigby  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $39.99
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  • 50.
    Purcell Edition, Vol. 1: Dido And Aeneas; King Arthur; The Fairy Queen
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4692016 Release Date: 03/09/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Steve Dugardin,  Jonathan Arnold,  Sophie Marin-Degor,  Véronique Gens  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir
    CD: $29.99
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