Michael Chance Countertenor


28 April, 2019

The Grange Festival Open Day

The Open Day at The Grange, which is the launch of The Grange Festival’s summer season, was a big success. Over a thousand people came. There was dancing, and singing in the theatre, as well as a Falconry display, rare breeds of goats and sheep, lots of local food and drink suppliers in stalls, a book stall, exhibitions, and much else. Kate Dimbleby kicked it all off with her irressitible “Sing Happy’ in the theatre. She brings her looper called Roland, with which she effortlessly accumulates layers of a capella harmony and rhythm (all her own voices) and sings torch-songs and ballads and jazz and musical theatre standards over the top. She gets everybody, and I mean everybody to join in - and that is the point. We all feel so good after singing with her, however badly; but somehow it isn’t badly, because we all know exactly what we have to do. Kate’s a brilliant, effervescent, one-off. She must come back !

Michael Chance

The Grange Festival - What's On, 2019

27 April, 2019

Raynham Recitals - Venus and Adonis

Each year, there is a performance for Raynham Recitals under the title The Royal Academy of Music at Raynham. In the past students from RAM have performed Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea. Last weekend (April 27th) 17 singers and players came from RAM to perform to a packed Marble Hall John Blow’s Masque Venus and Adonis. We created the conceit of a courtly masque in the court of Charles 11 - Carolean courts mounted very lavish courtly pageants in which gentlemen and, uniquely, ladies of the court would dress up as mythological characters, often celebrating or lampooning in equal measure contemporary figures and current events of courtly life. Raynham has terrific relevance and resonance of this period, and the Marble Hall proved a perfect equivalent to Whitehall or some of the other great houses of the period where these massively expensive pre-operas were mounted, in which Design, Music, Dance, and witty texts all played an equal part.

Michael Chance

The Raynham Hall Recitals

02 February, 2019

The Royal Conservatoire, The Hague - The Fairy Queen

Each year I am invited to conceive and run an operatic project in the Conservatoire of The Hague, for all the singers on the Early Music course, as well as others who apply from the Classical course, and an ensemble of instrumentalists. This has grown over recent years, and this February, following auditions last September (2018) and music rehearsals in November, we put together a fully-staged production of Henry Purcell’s semi-opera The Fairy Queen. 33 singers and 18 players took part. The theatre and the theatre team is made available for the week, and they are all enormously keen and willing to do as much as possible with light, staging, props, etc to make it as convincing as possible. We managed to work out a staging, also involving some quite elaborate dancing in the first three days, and then refine it all, ready for two public performances on Friday and Saturday. Next year (2019/2020), I plan a pasticcio using dramatic monologues and ensembles from Monteverdi and Strozzi, Games of Love and War.

Michael Chance

The Royal Conservatoire - The Fairy Quuen

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