Michael Chance Countertenor


26 June, 2015

Supporting the students of the SIena Music Academy

"Many students have applied from 18 countries to attend Siena Summer Academy, an intensive residential course for predominantly classical singers to receive personal tuition, mix in a richly diverse international community in a buzzing city, and have many opportunities to perform. Many have asked for financial help with the €1200 fee (not including travel). They come from sometimes deprived backgrounds, often with few opportunities to explore their musical skills and passions.

A course like this can change peoples' lives. Students glimpse both the difficulties and the benefits of committing their lives to music. The wider implications of involvement in music are revealed. Music encourages, indeed demands, truly living in the present, and truly listening to others. A course like this promotes creative social activity, team work, individual excellence, and commitment, as well as promoting the intensive joy of music making. Above all, it is fun, profoundly so.

In order to help these students we have set up a page on Justgiving to allow people to support their efforts. If you would like to contribute, please follow the link below."

Michael Chance

Siena Summer Academy page on JustGiving.com

25 June, 2015

Siena Summer Academy Concert

"A rather wonderful musical programme is taking shape for this Thursday, 25th, in St Philip’s Church, Kensington. W8 6QH, at 7.30pm, including Pergolesi, Monteverdi, Bellini, Mahler, Villa-Lobos and Gershwin. I do hope you are able to come, and I am so grateful to you for drumming up support. Please feel free to ask as many as possible. The performers come from The Royal College and Royal Academy of Music and will be there to talk to you as will as entertain you. You will be feasted with song and wine. We look forward to seeing you."

Michael Chance

10th Residential Summer Music Academy
St Philip’s Church, Kensington
Support the students of the SIena Music Academy (JustGiving.com)

12 April, 2015

Handel's Opera Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Concertgebouw

"The recent experience of devising and directing the concert performance of Handel’s consummately entertaining opera “Giulio Cesare” in Amsterdam’s frankly unrivalled concert hall, the “Concertgebouw”, has left many of us involved in it still breathless, but also exuberant. It was certainly risky on many levels: a young, almost new, and unknown orchestra, the absence of a conductor, the presentation of a four hour long music drama with no theatre, scenery, lighting etc., and the pairing in the cast of some wonderful, well known singers experienced in their roles, with “new kids on the block”. It all went better than any of us could have hoped for. The reviews, the live radio recording, the long loud standing ovation, and the thrill of almost all the performers having performed in the Concertgebouw for their first time, all testify to this. For the performance itself, I sat at the back and was happily a member of the public. Each and every one of the singers and players seized this opportunity to “own” their part in the whole, not dictated to by an arm-waving leader, and made the music leap off the page. Several have told me they were on the edge of their seat for the whole afternoon. I felt very proud, I must say, not for my part in the preparation of the performance, but for the achievement of the large community on the stage (about sixty people, almost all of them in their twenties).

One of the consequences of this experience has been for the orchestra, “Symphonie Atlantique”, led by the brilliant and indefatigable Rebecca Huber, to ask me to be their Artistic Advisor. I am thrilled to accept. We are now planning many more collaborations, not limited to Baroque repertoire, but hopefully including much of the delicious and haunting vocal ensemble and instrumental repertoire of Haydn, Schubert and Schumann for instance, much of it rarely performed. My idea is to assemble a vocal ensemble of up to sixteen young soloists who would act both as “choir”, for want of a better word, and soloists. The opportunities to perform much of the obvious oratorio repertoire with “Symphonie Atlantique”, as well as Baroque Opera, and much else besides, in this more solistic, unconducted, but minutely prepared way I find exciting.

Watch this space!”

Michael Chance

'Vocalists shine in Handel's opera Giulio Cesare' - Review by Frits van der Waa (in Dutch)
Photos from the rehearsals and performance of Giulio Cesare
Live radio broadcast: Act 1
Live radio broadcast: Act 2
Live radio broadcast: Act 3
Concertgebouw - Concert page

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