Michael Schade’s voice has been hailed as ringing, exceptionally elegant, silken, translucent, sensuously ethereal, glorious, and dynamic. The Mozart tenor of choice on international stages in Europe and North America, he is equally at home in New York, Vienna, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Salzburg, Dresden, Tokyo and London. His passion for his artform embraces recitals, operas, concerts and recordings.
In January 2007, Michael was named a Kammersänger by the Austrian government,the first Canadian to be so honoured. Originally bestowed by the royal courts, the title "Kammersänger", or chamber singer, is awarded to distinguished singers who have made a significant career in Austria.
Following a busy summer featuring his 14th consecutive year at the Salzburg Festival in which he appears in Haydn’s Armida, in duo recital with Thomas Quasthoff, in concert with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and a performance at the BBC Proms in London in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, conducted by Mariss Jansons, the 2007–2008 season features Michael in a wide variety of roles and performances.
Concerts figure prominently on his calendar with performances with Concentus Musicus in Vienna, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk in Rome (Mariss Jansons, conducting), Munich and Bad Kissengen (Daniel Harding, conducting), the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic in Salzburg, the Chicago Symphony, and the Vienna Virtuosi. Solo recitals take Michael to Bucharest, Amsterdam, St. Polten, Vienna, and Grafenegg and duo recitals to Berlin (with Thomas Quasthoff), New York and Toronto (with Russell Braun) and Vienna (with Genia Kuehlmeir).
As always, opera is a highlight of Michael’s season with performances in Vienna (Arabella, Die Zauberflöte, Capriccio), Salzburg (Die Zauberflöte), Luxembourg (concert performance of Don Giovanni on tour with the Vienna Staatsoper), Chicago (concert performance of Romeo et Juliette with the Chicago Symphony, Hamburg (concert performance of Daphne), and the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Il Barbiere di Siviglia).
The 2006-2007 season featured Michael in the title role of La Clemenza di Tito in Barcelona, as Matteo in Arabella in a new production at the Vienna Staatsoper, where he also appeared in the title roles of Idomeneo and l'Elisir d'amore. Spring 2007 saw returns to Metropolitan Opera in New York in Die Zauberflöte and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in Don Giovanni.
He also returned to Montreal for appearances with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, first in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, then on tour to Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener, Québec City and St. John’s, Newfoundland and lastly, to present his "Mozart Letters" programme, which he created and developed to mark the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth. A consummate recitalist, Michael gave in solo recitals in Vienna, Graz, St. Polten, New York, Miami, Duluth, and Hamilton (Ontario).
Recent opera highlights include Michael’s debut at the ROH Covent Garden as Leander in Maskerade, performances in Strauss’s Daphne, Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Don Giovanni and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore at the Vienna Staatsoper, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the title role in Idomeneo at the Washington National Opera which he reprised at the 2006 Salzburg Festival.
Highlights of past seasons featured performances in Vienna (Daphne, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Cosi fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, Die Schweigsame Frau, and Die Zauberflöte), Washington (Die Zauberflöte), San Diego (Cosi fan tutte, Les Pecheurs de Perles), the Salzburg Festival (Don Giovanni, La Clemenza di Tito, Die Zauberflöte, King Arthur), New York's Metropolitan Opera (Don Giovanni, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Die Zauberflöte), Los Angeles (Die Zauberflöte), San Francisco (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Toronto (Oedipus Rex (also at the Edinburgh Festival), Idomeneo, Viaggio a Reims), and Dresden (Idomeneo).
Always in demand as a concert artist, Michael Schade has performed many times with the Vienna Philharmonic and Concentus Musicus under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He has also appeared with the Berlin and New York Philharmonics, the Cleveland and Tonhalle orchestras, the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, Mr. Schade has also performed in concert with the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Montreal and Toronto Symphonies.
Recitals have taken Mr. Schade to many countries on several continents — including Vienna, Schwarzenberg, Barcelona, Vancouver, Toronto, Graz, Cologne, Duisberg, Amsterdam, Hannover, Frankfurt, Bonn, Milan (La Scala), Berkeley, and Spivey Hall, Morrow College in Clayton, Georgia. He has appeared in duo recitals with baritone Russell Braun in Edinburgh, Toronto, Ottawa, Berlin, Strasbourg, Hamburg, London and Ludwigsburg.
In 2003 Mr. Schade gave a special recital for the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa to celebrate the centenary of Hugo Wolf’s death and in 2002 appeared in a nationally televised gala evening in celebration of the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Canada.
A prolific recording artist, in 2005 Michael added to his extensive discography with a recording of Die Schöne Müllerin with Malcolm Martineau (CBC Records), Handel's Messiah (Deutsch Harmonia Mundi) conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and the Verdi Requiem (BMG). His recording of Daphne (Decca) with Renée Fleming was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 and his recording of St. Matthew Passion (Teldec), conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt won the 2002 GRAMMY for Best Choral Performance. Michael's first solo recording — Of Ladies and Love… (Hyperion) continues to receive enthusiastic accolades. “He sings Strauss’s ‘Cäcilie’, and a wonderfully hushed ‘Zueignung’ as though he and Martineau were the first to discover their ecstacy.” (BBC Music Magazine). He has also recorded The Creation (DGG), Die Zauberflöte (DGG Archiv) and Leonore with John Eliot Gardiner and the St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, The Creation, Elijah, Paulus, and Christus with Helmuth Rilling (Hännsler). Other recordings include Fidelio under Sir Colin Davis (BMG), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Wolgang Sawallisch (EMI), Otello with Myung-Whun Chung (DGG), and Haydn’s Theresienmess and Missa Sancti Nicolai with Trevor Pinnock (DGG Archiv), Serata Italiana with Russell Braun (CBC Records), and Das Lied von der Erde (DGG). Soirée Française with baritone Russell Braun (1997,CBC Records) received both a Juno Award and the Gabriel Fauré Award in France. In January 2006, in celebration of the Mozart Anniversary, Michael released Mozart Arie e Duetti with Russell Braun and Isabel Bayrakdarian on CBC Records.
Michael, born in Geneva and raised in Germany and Canada currently lives near Toronto, with his family.