Director, The Pencil Salesman
Michael was appointed Artistic Director of Tapestry Opera in 2014. A stage director, singer, arts administrator and recording artist, Michael made his performance debut in New York City at the age of 11 with the Dicapo Opera, and as a child performer toured the U.S. and Europe. After completing a Master’s degree in opera performance at the University of British Columbia, he obtained diplomas from Die Wiener Meisterkurse, Vienna, and Die Universität Mozarteum Sommerakademie, Salzburg. In 2015, Michael was named one of ten Torontonians to watch by the Toronto Star for his ambitious new direction at Tapestry Opera, and his community leadership with Indie Opera T.O. Michael has been nominated for a Juno Award and was awarded the West Coast Music Award for Classical Music with the Vancouver based ensemble musica intima. He is a versatile stage director, working in both urban site specific settings as well as conventional opera houses. Most recently he conceived and directed a new production of The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Columbus (2015). A highlight among Michael’s most innovative projects is the Tapestry Explorations (Tap:Ex) series, an annual concert experience that collides opera with other artistic forms. The series has experimented with fully choreographed art-music (Revolutions), synthesizing cut-film, track, turn-table, live soprano and percussion (Tables-Turned), and a new collaboration with punk band Fu*ked Up (Metallurgy). Michael’s upcoming directing projects include the world premiere of Brian Finley and Agnes Herzberg’s The Pencil Salesman for the Westben Festival, and the world premiere of Gareth Williams’ and Anna Chatterton’s Rocking Horse Winner for Tapestry Opera. Past credits as a stage director or assistant director have seen Michael stage directing in Toronto, Vancouver, St. John’s, Columbus and Dallas. As an artist-activist with a passion for grassroots collaborations, Michael founded Indie Opera T.O, an association of twelve small-to-medium Toronto opera companies that are bringing a new energy and life to the opera scene in Canada.