Over more than thirty years, Michael Chance has established an international reputation as performer, teacher and director across a broad spectrum of opera, recital, oratorio and recordings.
He has embraced old and new music with equal passion, having notable roles and songs cycles written for him by composers from Harrison Birtwistle, Judith Weir and John Tavener, to Richard Rodney Bennett, Tan Dun and Elvis Costello. His range has helped develop the possibilities both for the counter-tenor voice and the interest in and passion for earlier repertoire.
His operatic career identifies him with parts such as Gluck’s Orfeo, Britten’s Oberon and Apollo, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo, Bertarido and Ottone, and a host of gods and heroes and the occasional villain throughout the Baroque and early Classical eras. He has performed in most of the great opera houses and concert halls. His favourites are Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, La Pergola in Florence, Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, and now also The Grange. He has made over 150 recordings, with solo albums devoted to composers such as Purcell, Dowland, Bach, Tavener and Vivaldi. His recording of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater was recently chosen in BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library. Amongst many international awards for his recordings is a Grammy for his performance in Handel’s Semele (with Kathleen Battle and Marilyn Horne). He received a CBE in 2009.
Michael teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, in his own Siena Summer Academy in Italy, and in masterclasses all over the world.
He accepted the invitation to be artistic director of The Grange Festival in October 2015. He was given the task of creating from scratch a new opera company and putting together rather hastily the first season in 2017 after the unexpected announcement shortly before the departure of Grange Park Opera from The Grange. It is rare for a singer to be given the top job in an opera company and
The Grange Festival is the only opera company in the UK to be led by one of international renown. It is intensely gratifying that most of The Grange Festival’s senior management chose to stay at The Grange and work with him. He also hopes that the confusion of names will be soon resolved.
Michael’s vision for the future of The Grange is based on a long performing career, deep knowledge of the working process to put the finished article on the stage, and a love of open minded collaboration at a high level. He envisages a wide range of possibilities for the theatre at The Grange centred around the core opera festival in the early summer, but also including ballet, drama and other activities with a regional association. The strong sense of local identity with The Grange and its rich cultural legacy are inherent in creating a regional hub at The Grange which he hopes will be a centre of international excellence in the heart of Hampshire. He is determined that everyone who visits will be entranced by the quixotic charm of the setting and thrilled by the fantasy and craft on the stage.