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 76-100 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Britten: Death In Venice / Hickox, Chance, Langridge
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10280 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Philip Langridge,  Alan Opie,  Michael Chance
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  BBC Singers
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  • 77.
    Collectors Edition - Bach: Christmas Oratorio, Etc
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 000345102 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Ruth Holton,  Nancy Argenta,  Rufus Müller,  Andrew Murgatroyd  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  London Oratory Junior Choir
    On sale! $71.98
    CD: $65.99
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  • 78.
    Handel: Esther / The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16019 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Anthony Robson,  Robert Evans,  Lynda Russell,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Symphony of Harmony and Invention,  The Sixteen
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  • 79.
    Landi: La Morte D'orfeo / Stubbs, Elwes, Koslowsky, Et Al
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 30046 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Stefano Landi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Myra Kroese,  Wilfried Jochens,  Nico Van der Meel  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Stubbs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Currende Vocal Ensemble,  Tragicomedia Instrumental Ensemble
    CD: $3.99
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  • 80.
    Goehr: Sing, Ariel, Etc / Knussen, Cleobury, Shelton, Et Al
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 96 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Goehr
    Performer:  Lucy Shelton,  Sarah Leonard,  Eileen Hulse,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliver Knussen,  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge University Music Society
    CD: $29.99
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  • 81.
    The Essential Tallis Scholars
    Label: Gimell   Catalog: 201 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  William Cornysh,  Orlando de Lassus,  Jacobus Clemens non Papa,  Giovanni Palestrina  ... 
    Performer:  Alison Stamp,  Jane Armstrong,  Michael Chance,  Julian Walker
    Conductor:  Peter Phillips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
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  • 82.
    Purcell: The Fairy Queen / The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16005 Release Date: 01/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Gillian Fisher,  Lorna Anderson,  Ann Murray,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Symphony of Harmony and Invention,  The Sixteen
    CD: $27.49
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  • 83.
    Life And Works - Mozart / Jeremy Siepmann, Nicholas Boulton
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558061-64 Release Date: 11/19/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Muzio Clementi,  Gregorio Allegri,  Leopold Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Bloch,  Joanna Borowska,  John Dickie,  Andrea Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Mátyás Antal,  Johannes Wildner,  Barry Wordsworth,  Piergiorgio Morandi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Hungaricus,  Slovak Philharmonic Chorus Bratislava,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 84.
    Palestrina: Canticum Canticorum / The Hilliard Ensemble
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas Edition   Catalog: 61168 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Performer:  Rogers Covey-Crump,  David James,  Lynne Dawson,  John Potter  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hilliard Ensemble
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  • 85.
    Zelenka: Lamentations Of Jeremiah / Ainsley, Chance, George
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55106 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jan Dismas Zelenka
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  John Mark Ainsley,  Michael George
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chandos Baroque Players
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  • 86.
    Vivaldi: Gloria, Etc / Cleobury, King's College Choir, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57265 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  James Gilchrist,  Deborah Norman,  Sarah Fox  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 87.
    Allegri: Miserere;  Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli
    Label: Gimell   Catalog: 339 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Mundy,  Giovanni Palestrina,  Gregorio Allegri
    Performer:  Alison Stamp,  Jane Armstrong,  Michael Chance,  Julian Walker
    Conductor:  Peter Phillips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
    Recommendation
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  • 88.
    Campion: English Ayres / Chance, North, Et Al
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Campion
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Nigel North,  Peter Harvey,  Mark Padmore  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concordia,  The English Ayre
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  • 89.
    Weir: Night At The Chinese Opera / Parrott, Chance, Et Al
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 60 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Judith Weir
    Performer:  Michael George,  Karl Daymond,  Frances Lynch,  Adey Grummet  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 90.
    Bach: 27th Sunday After Trinity, Etc / Gardiner, Et Al
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 463587 Release Date: 10/10/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Stephen Varcoe,  Ruth Holton
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 91.
    Bach: Magnificat, Etc / Choir Of King's College, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56994 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury,  Michael George,  Ian Bostridge,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of Ancient Music
    On sale! $38.98
    CD: $32.49
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  • 92.
    Bach: Ascension Cantatas / Gardiner, English Baroque, Et Al
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 463583 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Nancy Argenta,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Stephen Varcoe  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  English Baroque Soloists
    Recommendation
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  • 93.
    The Sypres Curten Of The Night / M Chance, C Wilson
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 538 Release Date: 05/23/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Campion,  Thomas Ford,  Anthony Holborne,  John Danyel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Christopher Wilson
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  • 94.
    Bach: Cantatas Bwv 106, 118b, 198 / Gardiner, Et Al
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 463581 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Stephen Varcoe,  Michael Chance,  Nancy Argenta
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 95.
    Bach: Lutheran Masses Vol 2 / Argenta, Chance, Harvey, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 653 Release Date: 03/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Mark Padmore,  Nancy Argenta,  Michael Chance
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 96.
    Purcell: Odes for St. Cecilia's Day / Taverner Consort
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 61582 Release Date: 06/08/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Tim Wilson,  John Mark Ainsley,  Emily van Evera,  Charles Daniels  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Parrott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Taverner Consort,  Taverner Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 97.
    Handel: 4 Coronation Anthems, Etc / King's College, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455041 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Thurston Dart,  John Langdon,  Charles Tunnell,  Richard Farnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Stephen Cleobury,  David Hill,  Simon Preston
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Winchester Cathedral Choir  ... 
    ArkivCD $21.99
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  • 98.
    Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Harnoncourt, Bonney, Et Al
    Label: Teldec Das Alte Werk   Catalog: 997684 Release Date: 11/07/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Michael Chance,  Laurence Dale,  Anthony Michaels-Moore,  Elisabeth von Magnus  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 99.
    Essential Purcell / Robert King, The King's Consort
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 04/10/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  James Bowman,  Michael George,  John Mark Ainsley,  Rogers Covey-Crump  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford New College Choir,  King's Consort
    CD: $12.99
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  • 100.
    The English Viol - Byrd, Dowland, Gibbons, Lawes, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 61173 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfonso Ferrabosco,  Henry Purcell,  Matthew Locke,  William Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Boothby,  Julia Hodgson,  Sarah Groser,  William Hunt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Red Byrd
    ArkivCD $16.99
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