Chance, Michael, noted English countertenor; b. Perm, Buckinghamshire, March 7, 1955. He was a choral scholar at King’s Coll., Cambridge (1974–77). He first made a name for himself as a concert artist via appearances with British ensembles, mainly as an exponent of early music. In 1983 he made his formal operatic debut at the Buxton Festival as Apollo in Cavalli’s Giasone. His European operatic debut followed in 1985 in Lyons as Handel’s Andronico. In 1987 he created the role of the military governor in Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera in Cheltenham. He made his first appearance at the Paris Opéra in 1988 as Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare. In 1989 he sang Britten’s Oberon at the Glyndebourne Festival, and in 1993 at the Australian Opera. He was engaged as the Voice of Apollo in Death in Venice for his debut at London’s Covent Garden in 1992, and also appeared that year as Monteverdi’s Anfinomo at the English National Opera in London and as Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Scottish Opera in Glasgow. In 1994 he appeared in the premiere of Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs. Kong at the Glyndebourne Festival. After singing Dick in The Fairy Queen at the English National Opera in 1995, he returned there as Gluck’s Orfeo in 1997. His engagements as a concert artist took him all over Europe and North America, and were greeted with critical accolades for his naturally cultivated vocal gifts.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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