Mietta Blog

Michael Smallwood Elected to Judging Panel

Australian tenor, Michael Smallwood will return to Australia to join the 2014 Mietta Song Competition Judging Panel. Michael is currently based in Germany. The Australian tenor Michael Smallwood commenced vocal training while completing a law degree at the University of Melbourne. After studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, the Australian National Academy of Music and New York’s Juilliard School, he entered the prestigious Opera Studio of the Hamburg State Opera in 2001, later becoming a member of the ensemble.

He has worked in many major houses in Europe and the US, including The Santa Fe Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne, The Flemish Opera (Vlaamse Opera), Opéra de Lyon, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Chicago Opera Theater, Badisches Staatstheater, Deutsche Staatsoper (Berlin), the KomischeOper Berlin, Barcelona’s Liceu, the Nederlanse Opera, Staatsoper Kassel, Opera Australia, as well as returning regularly to the Hamburg State Opera.

In opera and concert he has worked with many important conductors including Yves Abel, Richard Farnes, Vladimir Jurowski, Friedemann Layer, Ingo Metzmacher, Julius Rudel, Ulf Schirmer, Steven Sloane, Stefan Soltesz, Constantinos Carydis, Ilan Volkov, Alfred Eschwe, Josep Pons, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Marek Janowski, Michael Boder and Simone Young. A sought-after performer of baroque music, his collaborators include William Christie, Alessandro de Marchi, Hermann Max, Michael Hofstetter, Jane Glover, Thomas Hengelbrock, and Konrad Junghänel.

His operatic roles span the length and breadth of the repertoire: from Montiverdi’s Orfeo, Handel’s Acis, Grimoaldo (Rodelinda) and Oronte (Alcin), Mozart’s Tamino, Belmonte, Ferrando and Don Ottavio, Gluck’s Renaud (Armide) through Wagner’s David, von Flotow’s Lyonel (Martha), Verdi’s Fenton, Kudrjas (Katya Kabanova), Lysander and Flute (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Albert Herring, Berg’s Andres (Wozzeck) and Maler (Lulu). In operetta, he has been heard as Alfred (Die Fledermaus) and Léhar’s Camille.

No stranger to modern music, he has performed works by Luigi Nono, Hans Werner Henze, Bernd Alois Zimmerman, Peter Eötvös, Jonathan Dove, Olga Neuwirth and Ned Rorem. Festival appearances have included: Ravinia, Aspen, the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, the Ruhr Triennale, Lincoln Center Festival and the Händel Festspiele (Halle and Karlsruhe).

In residence at Oper Halle from 2010-13, he has sung Mozart’s Tamino, Belmonte and Don Ottavio, Verdi’s Fenton, Maler in Lulu, Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Lyonel (Martha), as well as Handel’s Oronte (Alcina) and Fernando (Almira) both for Halle’s renowned Händel Festspiele. Other projects for 2012-13 included a return to Berlin’s Staatsoper (Der Rosenkavalier under Sir Simon Rattle, Die Zauberflöte and Madama Butterfly), Camille (Die Lustige Witwe) at Belgium’s Zomeropera, Don Ottavio at l’Opéra de Dijon, as well as concerts in Italy, Australia and Germany.

Commencing in seasons 2013/14, he will become a member of the ensemble in Essen’s renowned Aalto Theater, focusing on the works of Mozart (Tamino, Ottavio, Ferrando, Belmonte, Arbace), Handel (Lurcanio/Ariodante) and Strauss (Brighella/Airadne, Henry Morosus/Die Schwiegsame Frau).

His DVDs include Robert Carsen’s Capriccio with Renee Fleming at the Opera National de Paris, Die Entführungaus dem Serail from the Netherlands Opera, Willy Decker’s Moses und Aron from the Ruhr Triennale, and the award winning DVD of David Poutney’s production of Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten also from the Ruhr Triennale. In July 2009, the world premier recording of Bruch’s Arminius conducted by Hermann Max with the Göttingen Symphony was released by the CPO label. In 2011 followed a live recording of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the 2006 Glyndebourne Festival, and Parsifal and Die Meistersinger from the Runfunk-Sinfonie Orchester Berlin with Marek.