Michael Schade

Michael Schade. Tenor, b Geneva, Switzerland 23 Jan 1965; B MUS (Western Ontario) 1988. Michael Schade was born into a musical family; his parents sang in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and he was given voice lessons from an early age. Schade attended the St. Michael's Choir School.

Michael Schade

Michael Schade. Tenor, b Geneva, Switzerland 23 Jan 1965; B MUS (Western Ontario) 1988. Michael Schade was born into a musical family; his parents sang in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and he was given voice lessons from an early age. Schade attended the St. Michael's Choir School. Upon entering the University of Western Ontario, Schade studied sciences. He joined the university choir, where his talent was observed by voice teacher Roma Butler Ridell, who helped arrange a scholarship for him to study at the UWO school of music. After graduating in 1988, he attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying under Marlena Malas. Schade in 1990 joined the Merola Program, a company for young opera singers organized by the San Francisco Opera Company.

Operatic Roles and Concerts

In 1988, Schade gave his professional operatic debut singing the role of Jacquino in Beethoven's Fidelio with Pacific Opera Victoria. In 1990, he won the New York Oratorio Competition, which led to his debut at Carnegie Hall 17 Dec 1990 singing Handel's Messiah. Schade gave his European debut in Bologna in 1991, singing the role of Tamino from The Magic Flute, and 4 Dec 1993 he gave his Metropolitan Opera debut, again singing Jacquino.

Schade has since become widely celebrated for his interpretations of Mozart; the Chicago Tribune 11 Dec 2005 called him "today's reigning Mozart tenor." He is best known for his Tamino, as well as his Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and for the title role from La Clemenza di Tito. In 2005, Schade wrote The Mozart Letters, a staged production with music and narration. The work was premiered in May 2006 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Michael Schade's operatic repertoire, which consists of approximately 40 roles, extends to works from the Baroque, Romantic, and contemporary periods. Significant roles include the title role in Albert Herring (Britten); Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Donizetti); Rinaldo in Armida (Haydn); Alfred in Die Fledermaus (Strauss); Fenton in Falstaff (Verdi); and David in Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg (Wagner). In 2002, he performed the title role from Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with conductor Richard Bradshaw and the Canadian Opera Company; the production ran both in Toronto and at the Edinburgh Festival.

In addition to his frequent operatic roles, Schade is an active recitalist and has performed on several major international stages, including the Staatsoper and the Musikverein in Vienna, Wigmore Hall in London, and Alice Tully Hall in New York City. On 25 Feb 2001, Schade gave his New York recital debut at the Lincoln Center. In Canada he has sung in Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall and Vancouver's Chan Centre, as well as in Montreal, Victoria, Ottawa, Quebec City, and elsewhere. Additionally, Schade has given duo recitals and recorded twice with baritone Russell Braun for CBC Records. He has also performed with the Canadian singers Isabel Bayrakdarian, Ben Heppner, and Adrianne Pieczonka.

Schade has collaborated with several renowned conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Muti, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Simon Rattle, and Helmuth Rilling. He has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Since 1994, Michael Schade has sung every year at the Salzburg Festival. He also gives masterclasses. Since 2001, he has helped organize and has sung for fundraising events for leukemia research.

Awards and Honours

Michael Schade won two Juno awards for classical album of the year (vocal or choral performance), in 1998 and 2007. Also in 1998, his album La Soirée Francaise won the Gabriel Fauré award (France) for best recording of opera arias. In 2002 Schade won a Grammy award in the category of best choral performance, for his part on the recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion (Teldec). In January 2007, Michael Schade and soprano Adrianne Pieczonka were the first Canadians to be awarded the title of Kammersänger, an award given to singers by the Austrian government.

Recordings

Michael Schade has appeared on more than 30 recordings issued by CBC Records, BMG, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Decca, Teldec, Hyperion, DGG, and EMI.

Selected Discography
La Soirée Française: French Opera Arias and Duets. Russell Braun, baritone, The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Richard Bradshaw, cond. 1997. SMCD 5174 CBC Records

Of Ladies and Love. Malcolm Martineau, piano. 2002. CDA67315 Hyperion

Bach St. Matthew Passion. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, cond. 2001. 8573-81036-2 Teldec

Mahler Das Lied von der Erde. The Vienna Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez cond. 2001. 469 526-2 DGG

Mozart Die Zauberflöte. The English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, cond. 1995. 449 166-2 DGG/Archiv

- Mozart Arie e Duetti. Russell Braun, baritone, Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano. 2006. SMCD 5239 CBC Records

Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin. Malcolm Martineau, piano. 2005. MVCD1170 CBC Records

Verdi Otello. Orchestre et Choeurs de l'Opéra Bastille, Myung-Whun Chung, cond. 1994. 439 805-2 DGG


Further Reading

  • Anson, Philip. "Michael Schade's New York recital debut," La Scena Musicale, 25 Feb 2001

    Eatock, Colin. "New productions, new roles," Opera Canada, Nov/Dec 2005

    Gooding, Wayne. "World class," Opera Canada, Winter 1997

    Littler, William. "Bright lights: Michael Schade - Rapidly rising tenor," Toronto Star, 3 Oct 1995

    Peters, Brooks. "Sound bites: Michael Schade," Opera News, Feb 2001

    "Disc," University of Western Ontario Gazette, Spring 2003

    Waleson, Heidi. "True colors," Opera News, Jan 2008