Michael Colvin



Michael Colvin



Hailed in Opera News as possessing “one of the most beautiful lyric tenor instruments around” Irish-Canadian tenor Michael Colvin has appeared to critical acclaim on opera and concert stages throughout Canada, the USA, the UK and Europe. Aribert Reimann’s Lear was the vehicle for Colvin’s recent Salzburg debut, his performance as Cornwall noted for “vocal verve, perfect technique and exemplary diction” (Neue Musikzeitung). Of particular note during Canada’s Sesquicentennial Year, he was featured in the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Somers’ LOUIS RIEL, presented in Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City. Also on his schedule for 2016-2017 were the Painter in LULU at the English National Opera, Monostatos in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE for the Canadian Opera Company, MESSIAH for Symphony Nova Scotia and ELIJAH for Montreal’s Choeur St. Laurent. Looking forward to 2017-2018, his season includes Dr. Caius in Vlaanderen Opera’s FALSTAFF, Bob Boles in PETER GRIMES with Monte Carlo Opera and the Vancouver Symphony and Bardolfo in FALSTAFF for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

During the 2015-2016 season he sang L’Aumonier in DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES for The Netherlands Opera, Cornwall in LEAR at the Paris Opera, Basilio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for the Canadian Opera Company and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Brott Music Festival.

Highlighting Colvin’s 2014-2015 season was his debut at The Royal Opera Covent Garden as Rodolphe in Rossini’s GUILLAUME TELL conducted by Antonio Pappano. The year also included a return to the Canadian Opera Company for the roles of Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY and Dr. Caius in FALSTAFF, Herod in SALOME for Opera Ireland, Jaquino for Manitoba Opera’s FIDELIO and MESSIAHs in Newfoundland and in Montreal. He joined Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony for Rimsky-Korsakov’s MOZART AND SALIERI and also was seen in Brussels and Paris as Jaquino, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in Pärts’ PASSIO. In 2013-2014, he was at the English National Opera where he first essayed the title role in PETER GRIMES. He also appeared as Bob Boles in PETER GRIMES with the London Philharmonic in Europe and was back in London for English National Opera’s revival of the Britten work. Vancouver Opera audiences heard him as the Mayor in ALBERT HERRING, and further dates included Calgary for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Halifax for Symphony Nova Scotia’s MESSIAH and Montreal for Bach’s JOHANNES PASSION.

Held in high esteem for his sterling musicianship and commitment to text, he has collaborated with conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Harry Bicket, Antonio Papano, Johannes Debus, Nicholas McGegan, Sir Charles Mackeerras, Andrey Boreyko, Bernard Labadie, Bramwell Tovey, Alexander Shelley, Jacques Lacombe, Trevor Pinnock, Helmut Rilling, Jane Glover and Carlos Calmar. His repertoire is an eclectic mix, ranging from the opera and orchestral works of Britten and Mozart to Berg, Beethoven, Strauss and Wagner. Additional credits include Welsh National Opera, Minnesota Opera, Seattle Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Rochester Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Detroit Symphony, Garsington Opera, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Toronto Mehdelssohn Choir, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Pacific Opera Victoria, Portland Opera, London Proms, Lanaudiere Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Grant Park Festival and the Elora Festival

Born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and raised in Toronto, Canada, Michael began his musical studies at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto and returned to music after attaining his Bachelor of Science in Immunology from the University of Toronto. A graduate of the U. of T. Opera Division, Michael has also trained with the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England and Canada’s Banff Centre for the Arts. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, most notably the Canadian Opera Foundation Award, Chalmers Performing Arts Award and a Canada Council Artist Grant. Michael makes his home in Toronto, Canada.   Recording projects include the works of the Ukrainian composer Lysenko, Don Ottavio in the film DON GIOVANNI UNMASKED with Hvorostovsky and recordings on the NAXOS, CBC and Warner Music labels.

December 2017




Mozart Belmonte
Handel Acis
Heggie Father Grenville DEAD MAN WALKING
Rossini Lindoro
Britten Bob Boles
Male Chorus
Johnny Inkslinger
Chabrier Le Roi Ouf L’ÉTOILE
Donizetti Nemorino
Puccini Pong
Stravinsky Oedipus Rex OEDIPUS REX
Verdi Fenton



Bach, J.S. Magnificat
Mass in B-minor
Johannes Passion
Matthäus Passion
Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer
Neue Liebeslieder Walzer
Beethoven Adelaide
An die ferne Geliebte
Symphony No. 9
Mass in C
Britten War Requiem
Serenade for tenor, horn and strings
Canticle I: My Beloved is mine
Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac
Canticle III: Still falls the Rain
Canticle IV: Journey of the Magi
Sechs Hölderlin Fragmente
Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noël
Dvorak Stabat Mater
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
Gounod St. Cecilia’s Mass
Handel Acis and Galatea
Judas Maccabaeus
Israel in Egypt
Messiah (arr. Mozart)
Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day
Hatzis Everlasting Light
Haydn Die Schöpfung
Die Jahreszeiten
Nelson Mass
Mahler/Schönberg Das Lied von der Erde
Mendelssohn Elijah Op. 70
Mozart Requiem
Coronation Mass
Mass in C-minor
Regina Caeli
Pärt Passio
Purcell The Fairy Queen
The Tempest
Quilter Seven Elizabethan Lyrics
Respighi Lauda per la natività del Signore
Rossini Stabat Mater
Petite Messe Solennelle
Schubert Die schöne Müllerin
Mass in A flat
Mass in B flat
Mass in E flat
Schumann Dichterliebe
Stravinsky Oedipus Rex
In Memoriam Dylan Thomas
Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge
Serenade to Music
Verdi Requiem

Michael Colvin as Herod in SALOME for Northern Ireland Opera in Belfast

“It was however the power of the voices, the dramatic characterizations, the sheer brilliance of the music which carried this performance… Michael Colvin as Herod was completely convincing as the depraved and eventually disgusted king.” – Belfast Telegraph

“It’s real a white-knuckle ride that never lets up…It all sounds terrific.. Michael Colvin’s Herod is more lyrical than many and thus nastier than most.” – Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“Herod and Herodias were sharply etched by Michael Colvin and Heather Shipp” – Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Not just sleazy but actively repellent, not just gory but positively noxious, his (Director, Oliver Mears) production plays out like a nightmare mash-up of Sam Peckinpah, David Lynch and Woody Allen… Musically this is another bold achievement by NI Opera… (Heather) Shipp’s Herodias and Michael Colvin’s Herod were poisonously effective.” – Neil Fisher, The Sunday Times

Michael Colvin as Bob Boles in PETER GRIMES with Vladmir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (London and Birmingham)

 “I thought Michael Colvin was without doubt the best Bob Boles I have heard and seen; this ‘Methody’ struck a fine balance between a figure of fun and the conscience of the Borough, taking the moral high ground when regarding Grimes as a lost soul of a fisherman.”
Seen and Heard International (Birmingham)

“The sound was wonderfully vivid, and every morsel of Jurowski’s interpretation – its cool, precise clarity interspersed with climaxes of frightening intensity – came across fiercely. So did all the individual performances, with an outstanding lineup, including Brindley Sherratt as Swallow, Michael Colvin as Bob Boles, Jean Rigby as Mrs Sedley and Mark Stone as Ned Keene, with Pamela Helen Stephen as a fag-smoking Auntie and Jonathan Veira’s Hobson.”
Andrew Clements, London Guardian

 “From the rear stalls (where many of the press were relocated on account of demand) some voices made more of an impression than others. It’s a tricky hall, this (Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre), and a few feet can make all the difference to the experience you have. The big voices fared well with Brindley Sherratt’s Swallow, Mark Stone’s Ned Keene, and Michael Colvin’s Bob Boles coming across strongly.” Edward Seckerson’s Blog

“Michael Colvin’s intemperate Bob Boles, the Methodist, Mark Stone’s swaggering Ned Keene, Jonathan Veira’s stalwart Hobson, Brian Galliford’s pious Reverend Horace Adams and Brindley Sherratt’s lecherous lawyer Swallow also brought a wealth of experience to the ensemble. Everyone sang strongly and with excellent diction that made the surtitles mostly redundant.”
Seen and Heard International (London)

“Michael Colvin also made his mark as a wayward yet forceful Bob Boles.”
Alexander Campbell, Classical Source

 “Further vocal performances from Jean Rigby (Mrs Sedley), Michael Colvin (Bob Boles), Brindley Sherratt (Swallow) and Jonathan Veira (Hobson) all impressed.”

“The principal line-up was exceptionally strong, both vocally and dramatically… no-one in the cast, which included Pamela Helen Stephen, Michael Colvin and Mark Stone, came across as weak.”
Musical OMH

“Michael Colvin brought an authentically bug-eyed mania to Bob Boles’ “Methody Wastrel, especially when drunk.”
Opera Britannia

“Tenor Michael Colvin was also outstanding. His five numbers in the Passion sequence were deeply moving. Later, his Thou Shalt Break Them was forceful and a worthy prelude to the Hallelujah Chorus.
The Ottawa Citizen – Richard Todd

“Another notable performance came from Michael Colvin as Flute, who balanced a musical, ringing tenor with the hilarity this role requires.”
MusicOMH.com – Lottie Greenhow

“It (Britten’s Turn of the Screw) was already the most chilling show in town…but English National Opera’s revival of McVicar’s 2007 production turns the screw even tighter…Another (change) is the truly demonic Quint created by the one adult newcomer to the cast, Michael Colvin. He’s almost bestial with his claw-like hands, hunched back, lurching gait and spookily disembodied singing.”
The Times

“(Sir Charles Mackerras) delivery of the Screw last night was stunning – as was everything about this show, which has largely the same cast as before but with a new Quint (Michael Colvin). An outstanding cast…”
The Telegraph

“Michael Colvin is excellent in The Prologue – every word carefully pointed – and his Peter Quint was menacing because of its understatement. The way he calls to Miles insinuated themselves into the accompanying orchestra textures were perfectly judged.”
Classical Source


“Michael Colvin joins them as the new Prologue/Quint, and in my opinion outdoes his predecessor in the role: the ardent sound he produces is a welcome change from the insipid sound that some English tenors have a tendency to produce, and he was genuinely scary.”
Musical Criticism

“Michael Colvin brought a sweet, agile lyric tenor to Don Ottavio’s two arias”
Chicago Tribune – John von Rhein

“The promising Michael Colvin possess one of the most beautiful young lyric tenor instruments around…his voice is sizable with an intrinsic timbral sweetness—capable of a heroic ring above the staff, as well as cleanly articulated passagework…gratifyingly allowed ‘Ich baue ganz’, dispatching this technical litmus test with velocity and grace.”
Opera News – Mark Thomas Ketterson

“Canadian tenor Michael Colvin, as the villainous usurper Grimoaldo, also sang up a storm, and his one a typical, wistful aria, about the shepherd finding peace with his sheep, was surprising and touching.”
The Globe and Mail on Handel’s RODELINDA

 “Of all Canada’s superb tenors, these days the Irish-born but Canadian-raised and -trained Colvin is the one I most look forward to hearing. His lovely, healthy tenor, allied to his sure sense of pitch, was the rock… Colvin’s big solo, the’ Ingemisco’, was gorgeous, and his opening phrases at the “Hostias” in the Offertorium were very moving.”
The Globe and Mail on Verdi’s REQUIEM (Elora Festival)

 “Michael Colvin supplied a mellifluous Blemonte.
Opera Canada – Floyd St. Clair

 “Une mention pour le Canadien Michael Colvin, qui fait presque jeu egal avec la contralto polonaise (Ewa Podles). Qualite du timbre, aisance dans les vocalises, intuition stylistique: ce tenor a tout pour faire carriere dans Rossini” (trans: “A mention for the Canadian Michael Colvin, who is almost the equal of Polish contralto Ewa Podles. Quality of tone, ease of technique, stylistic intuition: this tenor has it all for a career in Rossini.”)
Opera International on Rossini’s TANCREDI

“Tenor Michael Colvin spun pure, lyric honey as Belfiore, his Act II duet with Durkin providing the vocal highlight of the evening.”
Opera News on Rossini’s IL VIAGGIO A REIMS

 “Among the men, the big discovery was the fast-rising Rossini tenor Michael Colvin, singing sweetly, ardently and musically as Belfiore.”
Chicago Tribune on Rossini’s IL VIAGGIO A REIMS

“As the lecherous Il Cavalier Belfiore, Michael Colvin blended an Irish tenor of high-flying innocence with wonderfully oily manners. His duet with Corinna was a highlight of the evening.”
Chicago Sun-Times on Rossini’s IL VIAGGIO A REIMS

“Michael Colvin, as the romantic lead Belmonte, was assured and luminous in his solo work, and an excellent partner for soprano Aline Kutan as Konstanze…”

 “…The best surprise was tenor Michael Colvin, like contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, making his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His vibrato-free, deep-felt recitatives, consistent warmth and the heroic cast he brings to his singing suggest a very successful future.”
The Toronto Star on Handel’s MESSIAH

 “Michael Colvin’s clear, bright, lyrical tenor wonderfully suited his Beethoven and Schubert songs. In Beethoven’s ‘The Kiss’, he deftly brought out the musico-poetic transformation from serious romance to jocular situation. Colvin made his songs his own – they seemed to be part of his living, breathing being. He always found a way of singing a repeated word or phrase differently the second time around. His German diction was well nigh pristine. His simple gestures, body language and facial expressions added an extra sheen to his presentation.”
The Hamilton Spectator on Opera Ontario’s LIEDERABEND

 “Michael Colvin displayed stylistic assurance and sustained Lindoro’s high tessitura with fortitude”
Opera News on Rossini’s L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI

 “There’s only one outstanding voice in the cast – that of tenor Michael Colvin (Lindoro)”
The National Post on Rossini’s L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI

“Partnering her was Michael Colvin, rapidly becoming a noted Rossinian… Colvin proved an impressive Lindoro, singing with outstanding agility and clarion, elegant tone.”
OPERA Magazine (UK) on Rossini’s L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI

 “Tenor Michael Colvin as Lindoro, Isabella’s true love, effortlessly shares top singing honours”
The Globe and Mail on Rossini’s L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI

 “his (Michael Colvin as Jupiter) vocal work was godlike in every respect, with clarion timbre and pinpoint accuracy.”
OPERA Magazine (UK) on Handel’s SEMELE

 “The stand-out among the performers was Michael Colvin, his tenor robust and forwardly placed, wonderful to hear in the opera’s most famous air, Where’er you walk.”
Chicago Tribune on Handel’s SEMELE

 “Setting the tone was Canadian tenor Michael Colvin, whose Male Chorus was absolutely bright in color, clear in diction and musically secure, towering over the three other male soloists.”
Opera Canada on Britten’s THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA

 “as one admired the honey-toned, impassioned Tamino of Michael Colvin”
Winnipeg Free Press on Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE

 “…Tenor Michael Colvin (Arbace) in particular bowled me over with his masterfully stylish performance”
The OPERA Quarterly on Mozart’s IDOMENEO

 “Michael Colvin sang the tenor arias and recitatives with precision, feeling and superb diction”
The Ottawa Citizen on Handel’s MESSIAH

 “The brightest light of the evening was tenor Michael Colvin in the role of Count Almaviva. Colvin’s voice seemed a perfect model of the ‘bel canto’ style of singing that Rossini’s music employed. Supple and pliant, it moved beautifully and with precision through the rapidly decorated vocal runs supplied by the composer.”
The Sun Newspaper on Rossini’s THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

 “Michael Colvin stood out in a uniformly strong cast as a brilliant Male Chorus, exemplary in diction and tonal colouration, highly intelligent in verbal stress without losing the musical line.”
OPERA Magazine on Britten’s THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA

 This is a superb score, which is served up with panache by the COC orchestra under conductor Harry Bicket and a powerful cast with particularly delicious performances from Danielle de Niese, Gerald Thompson and Michael Colvin, all of whom combine strong talents on both a vocal and dramatic level.”
Toronto Sun on Handel’s RODELINDA



Michael Colvin joins the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in their performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as part of the Masterworks series. April 05 & 06, 2018.

Michael Colvin sings the role of Bob Boles in Britten’s PETER GRIMES. Performances, January 29 – February 28, 2018

Michael Colvin sings the role of Dr. Caius in Verdi’s FALSTAFF. Performances in Antwerp October 30 – December 31, 2017, and transfering to Ghent January 10 – 29, 2018.