Michael Chance Countertenor


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

20 January, 2015

Michael and Alexander Chance: Late-night recital

"It is never a good thing for a parent to be seen to be pushing forward a child too eagerly. Don’t put your daughter on the stage and all that. The opportunity to put on a short discreet late-night duo recital with father and son counter-tenors whirling away together in the very place where such a combination performed famously for so many years was, however, too tempting to avoid. Alexander sings in the Choir of New College, Oxford, and has been one of the regular alto soloists there, when required, for nearly four years. For this concert, he will be dragged from the very week at the end of the Oxford academic year when they all party to excess. We are hopeful, though, for a fun evening."

Michael Chance

Stour Festival, Friday 26th June 22.00 - Late night concert 'Rival Notes'

18 October, 2014

Next Summer Music Academy in Siena - August 18-29 2015

Please check out the expanded roster of luminaries teaching in our forthcoming Summer Academy in Siena, in August 2015. Lots of opportunities to explore a wide range of repertoire, learn from a vast body of experience, and have a lot of fun with some very entertaining personalities. The Academy has a Baroquey feel to it, but that is just the starting point. We offer expertise in German lied, French and Russian Song, Mozart opera, Ensemble singing, as well as, for the first time, a leading violinist, with a big international following. And, for certain, many surprises in store in that most surprising and luminous city, Siena.

Teaching and masterclasses
Siena School for Liberal Arts

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