The Scene


Michael Colvin

Michael Colvin


Hailed in Opera News as possessing “one of the most beautiful lyric tenor instruments around” Irish-Canadian tenor Michael Colvin has appeared to critical acclaim on opera and concert stages throughout Canada, the USA, UK and Europe. His 2014-2015 season concluded with his debut at The Royal Opera Covent Garden as Rodolphe in Rossini’s GUILLAUME TELL conducted by Antonio Pappano. The year also included a return to the Canadian Opera Company for the roles of Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY and Dr. Caius in FALSTAFF, Herod in SALOME for Opera Ireland, Jaquino for Manitoba Opera’s FIDELIO and MESSIAHs in Newfoundland and in Montreal. He joined Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony for Rimsky-Korsakov’s MOZART AND SALIERI and also was seen in Brussels and Paris as Jaquino, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in Pärts’ PASSIO. In 2013-2014, he was at the English National Opera where he first essayed the title role in PETER GRIMES. He also appeared as Bob Boles in PETER GRIMES with the London Philharmonic in Europe and was back in London for English National Opera’s revival of the Britten work. Vancouver Opera audiences heard him as the Mayor in ALBERT HERRING, and further dates included Calgary for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Halifax for Symphony Nova Scotia’s MESSIAH and Montreal for Bach’s JOHANNES PASSION.

In the summer of 2012 he was heard as Bob Boles in PETER GRIMES at the Proms in London and in ELIJAH for Ontario’s Elora Festival conducted by Noel Edison. Concert engagements for 2012-2013 included DIE SCHÖPFUNG for Symphony Nova Scotia, Britten’s SERENADE for the Louisville Orchestra, MESSIAH for the Phoenix Symphony, Beethoven’s MISSA SOLEMNIS for Toronto’s Mendelssohn Choir and Britten’s ST. NICOLAS CANTATA for Kitchener’s Grand Philharmonic Choir. On the opera stage he was heard as the Mayor in ALBERT HERRING and Clem in THE LITTLE SWEEP for Pacific Opera Victoria and as the Priest in DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES and Second Jew in SALOME for the Canadian Opera Company.

Mr. Colvin’s 2011-2012 season was highlighted by featured roles in important German repertoire. For Pacific Opera Victoria he sang der Steuerman in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, Narraboth in SALOME for Manitoba Opera, and Beethoven’s MISSA SOLEMNIS for the Richard Eaton Singers of Edmonton. He returned to the English National Opera’s production of PETER GRIMES as Bob Boles touring to Oviedo and later appeared in the ENO’s productions of MADAMA BUTTERFLY as Goro and BILLY BUDD as Red Whiskers, covering Capt.Vere. Trevor Pinnock was his conductor for MESSIAH with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and he was also heard for Toronto’s Aldeburgh Connection.

In 2010-2011, he was Flute in Britten’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM for the English National Opera and covered the role of Aschenbach in the Canadian Opera Company’s DEATH IN VENICE. He was heard with the Seattle Symphony and Kitchener Waterloo’s Grand Philharmonic Choir in MESSIAH and continued his recording project of Ukrainian art songs by Lysenko. He also appeared for the New Mexico Symphony singing Haydn’s DIE SCHÖPFUNG.

His 2009-2010 Season included the role of Peter Quint in Britten’s TURN OF THE SCREW at English National Opera, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and directed by David McVicar, Arbace and Idomeneo (cover) in the Canadian Opera Company’s IDOMENEO, conducted by Harry Bicket and as the Italian Singer in Pacific Opera Victoria’s CAPRICCIO by R. Strauss. For the Welsh National Opera, he covered the role of David in DIE MEISTERSINGER. On the concert stage his schedule included Verdi’s REQUIEM for the Edmonton’s Richard Eaton Singers, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Vancouver Symphony and MESSIAH for the New Mexico and Newfoundland symphonies and Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Singers.

Highlights for 2008-2009: Minnesota Opera debut as Belmonte in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, English National Opera as Bob Boles in David Alden’s production of PETER GRIMES conducted by Edward Gardner, Haydn’s CREATION with the Rochester Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Calgary Philharmonic and Kingston Symphony, MESSIAH with the Winnipeg Symphony and Chorus Niagara, and Vivaldi’s DIXIT DOMINUS for the National Ballet of Canada.

Further credits include Ferrando in COSI FAN TUTTE for the Canadian Opera Company, Ramiro in LA CENERENTOLA for Portland Opera, Don Ottavio in Chicago Opera Theater’s DON GIOVANNI, and his critically acclaimed UK opera debut as Rodrigo in LA DONNA DEL LAGO for Garsington Opera. Other engagements have included Almaviva in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE for Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Opera Lyra Ottawa, Belmonte in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, RAPE OF LUCRETIA and SEMELE for Chicago Opera Theater, the COC’s RODELINDA conducted by Harry Bicket, Argirio in the Canadian Opera Company’s TANCREDI, Shepherd in OEDIPUS REX for the Edinburgh International Festival, Belfiore in IL VIAGGIO A REIMS with Portland Opera, Tamino in Manitoba Opera’s THE MAGIC FLUTE and L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI for Opera Festival of New Jersey. For the COC he has sung in L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI, IL VIAGGIO A REIMS, DON GIOVANNI and THE BARBER OF SEVILLE. Other credits include a recording project of the works of Lysenko, Don Ottavio in the film DON GIOVANNI UNMASKED with Hvorostovsky and recordings on the NAXOS, CBC and Warner Music labels.

On the concert platform Michael has sung Mozart’s REQUIEM for Chicago’s Grant Park Festival and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s MESSIAH and Bach’s WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, MESSIAH with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra / Glover, National Arts Centre Orchestra / Pinnock and Rochester Philharmonic, Schubert’s MASS IN A-FLAT with Helmut Rilling and Festival Vancouver, BEETHOVEN 9 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, Elora Festival and Festival de Lanuadière, Elgar’s DREAM OF GERONTIUS, Haydn’s DIE SCHÖPFUNG and Verdi’s REQUIEM for the Elora Festival, Britten’s SERENADE FOR TENOR, HORN AND STRINGS with Richard Bradshaw and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Dvorak’s STABAT MATER with Andrey Boreyko and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, and Mahler’s DAS LIED VON DER ERDE for the National Ballet of Canada. Additional highlights include Vaughan Williams’ ON WENLOCK EDGE and Brahms’ LIEBESLIEDER WALZER for CBC Radio and Schubert’s DIE SCHÖNE MÜLLERIN at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio.

Born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and raised in Toronto, Canada, Michael began his musical studies at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto and returned to music after attaining his Bachelor of Science in Immunology from the University of Toronto. A graduate of the U. of T. Opera Division, Michael has also trained with the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England and Canada’s Banff Centre for the Arts. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, most notably the Canadian Opera Foundation Award, Chalmers Performing Arts Award and a Canada Council Artist Grant. Michael makes his home in Toronto, Canada.

Plans for 2015-2016 include L’Aumonier in DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES for The Netherlands Opera and Basilio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for the Canadian Opera Company.

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