Thursday, October 2, 2008

Canadian Arts and Culture Week: Celebrating Tenor Micheal Schade

I have to admit that Michael Schade is one of my favourite tenors. Not just because he is Canadian, has an incredible voice and loves hockey, but mostly because he is a great supporter of young singers.

Michael was Idomeneo in the 2001 Canadian opera Company production where I made my last minute debut as Elettra. I wasn’t supposed to sing it at all only understudy the role. But one thing led to another and I ended up on stage, 8 months pregnant doing the full run. What a ride for a young singer and how frustrating for the regular cast (read a review here). Despite the chaos that surrounded that production, Michael was fantastic. One night he found me in the big rehearsal hall vocalizing before a performance and his advice was “don’t leave it in the practice room”. Clear, concise and to the point – just like his voice.

Michael is one of Canada’s true operatic superstars. The go-to tenor for Mozart all over the world he is now imparting his years of experience and wisdom to young singers as the Co-Director, along with Barbara Bonney, of the new Salzburg Young Artists Project.

You can hear Michael this season in the Met HD broadcast of a new production of Thais with Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson on December 20th and then back at home in Toronto with the Canadian Opera Company singing the Prince in Rusalka.

Have a listen to a 1999 production of Don Giovanni with Michael singing “Il mio tesoro”:

Up next, baritone Russell Braun.

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