Acclaimed by critics for his “great virtuosity”, “vocal radiance” and “outstanding voice”, Michael Taylor has performed leading roles in operas across Europe ranging from the baroque to the modern era.
The young Canadian countertenor Michael Taylor began singing as a treble at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, where he also studied the violin and piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. After graduating with a degree in Physics and Neuroscience from McGill University, he took up further vocal studies in Montreal with a focus on Early Music. Michael subsequently came to Germany to pursue a specialisation in opera performance with Jeanne Piland, and he has worked with several of Europe’s most talented Early Music specialists, including Andreas Scholl, Sara Mingardo and Michael Hofstetter. Michael is a prize-winner of the Gürel International Singing Competition in Istanbul and the International Voice Competition Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg in Germany, as well as a grant-holder of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers.
Highlights of his wide-ranging operatic repertoire include Oberon in Britten’s “A Midsummernight’s Dream” in Norfolk (2013), Goffredo in Handel’s “Rinaldo” at the State Theatre Mainz (2014), Corindo in Cesti’s “Orontea” at the Hamburg State Opera (2014), Liscione in Scarlatti’s “La Dirindina” with L’Arte del Mondo (2014/15), Adriano in Pergolesi’s “Adriano in Siria” (2015) and Alceste in Hasse’s “Demetrio” (2016) with Opera Settecento, Artemis in Henze’s “Phaedra” at the Halle Opera (2015), Ariel in Purcell’s “The Tempest” with Montreal Baroque, Argone in Handel’s “Sosarme” and Ormonte in Handel’s “Elpidia” at the Handel Festival Halle (2016).
Also highly sought-after in concert and oratorio, he performs regularly with exceptional ensembles worldwide, including Handel’s “Messiah” with the Grammy-nominated Trinity Choir at the Lincoln Center New York (2012), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Telemann Baroque Orchestra at Izumi Hall in Osaka (2015) and a series of Bach cantatas with Montreal Baroque set to be released shortly on the Atma Classique label. Michael is a core member of Berlin’s Solistenensemble Phoenix16, specialising in the performance of contemporary vocal works; recently he appeared with them in a performance of Gerard Grisey’s “Les Chants de l’Amour” at the Konzerthaus Berlin and at the Ultraschall Festival for new music in Berlin.
This season’s highlights include a revival of Porpora’s “L’Agrippina” in Birmingham, two new creations for the Biennale di Venezia, Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at the Maison Symphonique de Montreal, Sciarrino’s “Luci mie traditrici” at the Ukraine National Opera and his debut with Opera Atelier in Monteverdi’s “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”. As founder and co-director of the baroque ensemble “The Dansant”, he recently released “To Die, To Sleep”, a solo album of opera arias by Handel, Vivaldi and Graun accompanied on period instruments; the album is now available worldwide.