Patrice Michaels, Soprano
“…Like the Romantic ideal of art, Patrice Michaels’ voice is both natural and passionate…” says Classical CD Digest. “…A formidable interpretative talent…”(The New Yorker), Ms. Michaels receives raves for her “…poise, musicianship and impressive fioratura…” (Los Angeles Times), “…a voice that is light, rich and flexible…” (Opera News), and “…pinpoint-accurate…bravura…” (Boston Globe).
Ms. Michaels has been featured in engagements with the Shanghai, Czech National, St. Louis, Omaha, Atlanta, Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Minnesota Orchestras, the Maryland Handel Festival, Dallas Bach Society and Charlotte, Kansas City and Virginia Symphonies, as well as New York’s Concert Royal and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. Ms. Michaels has sung the Great Mass in C Minor with Skrowaczewski, Christmas Oratorio with Shaw, Mahler 4 with Zdenek Macal Mozart Arias with Andrew Parrott and Nicolas McGegan, Carmina Burana with Joanne Falletta and Beethoven 9 with Andreas Delfs and Victor Yampolsky.
Ms. Michaels includes in her operatic credits the Hal Prince production of Candide at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She made her debut in the 1990-91 season with the Cleveland Opera as Marzelline in Fidelio and has sung with Central City Opera, Tacoma Opera , The Banff Centre, Canada and Chicago Opera Theater. Her recording as Monica in Menotti’s The Medium (Cedille Records) continues to receive international critical acclaim.
Recital appearances for Ms. Michaels include three consecutive seasons at the Festival of Contemporary Music in Havana, Cuba and tours of Japan, Mexico Venezuela, Barbados and Belize. She performs frequently in the United States and Canada, including a recital with pianist John Browning for Music at the Supreme Court, as guest artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, for the Schubert Club of St. Paul and for many academic institutions, including Harvard and Northwestern University.
Recent seasons for Ms. Michaels include the Albany Records release of the music of Laurie Altman, On Course, appearances at her alma mater Pomona College, for Bach Week in Evanston and in new works by Stephen McNeff and Laurie Altman at Lawrence University.
A Mozart specialist, Patrice Michaels promotes and tours a special concert, Divas of Mozart's Day. This dramatic program with duets and narration by internationally syndicated radio announcer Peter Van de Graaff was invited to Salzburg during the summer 2006 Anniversary celebrations. Ms. Michaels can be heard on the Amadis recording of the Requiem and on Music of the Baroque’s Great Mass in C Minor. The Divas of Mozart's Day on Cedille Records was released in 2002 and continues to garner international acclaim.
She has received consistent critical acclaim for her other recordings on the Cedille label, including American Songs, Songs of the Classical Age; A Vivaldi Concert; The World of Lully; To Be Sung Upon the Water; Songs of the Romantic Age; 20th Century Baroque; Clearings in the Sky; The Virtuoso Handel; The Vorisek Mass in B Flat, and La vie est une parade. Albany label features Patrice singing the music of Laurie Altman in On Course.
Ms. Michaels serves as Director of Vocal Studies for the Department of Music at the University of Chicago. From 1994 – 2011 she was affiliated with the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, as Professor of Music teaching voice and assisting with the opera theater program. She is a frequent guest clinician for institutions including the University of Tel Aviv, Hartt School of Music, Music Teachers’ National Association, and Dreyfoos School of the Performing Arts.
Peter Van De Graaff, Bass‑Baritone
Hailed by the critics as possessing a “resplendent voice” and “rich, burnished sound” with “formidable skill” and a “commanding grace and strength”, bass-baritone Peter Van De Graaff has sung to great acclaim throughout the world. He recently returned from a seven concert tour in China. In Europe, he was a featured soloist at the International Vocal Symposium in Salzburg. He has performed and recorded a Mass by Jan Vorisek with the Czech State Symphony under Paul Freeman and has also sung Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis throughout the Czech Republic and Poland with the Czech Philharmonic. He appeared in Berlin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron. In Budapest he sang with the Budapest Concert Orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem and in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra joined him in a Mozart Mass. As a recitalist he appeared in Tokyo. His singing has also taken him throughout the United States, where his appearances include engagements with the Houston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Utah Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, Richmond Symphony and many, many others. Conductors with whom he has worked include Pierre Boulez, Christopher Wilkins, Paul Freeman, Bernard Labadie, Paul Hillier, Joseph Silverstein, Robert Page, Thomas Wikman, Jane Glover, Klaus-Peter Seibel, Victor Yampolsky, James Paul, Daniel Hege and Nicholas Kraemer, among many others.
Mr. Van De Graaff has made a specialty of the baroque repertoire and this has brought him as soloist to the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Costa Rica International Music Festival, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Pittsburgh Bach Choir, Grand Teton Music Festival, St. Louis Early Music Festival, Boulder Bach Festival and many other festivals and concert series throughout the country. He and his soprano wife have been responsible for the modern premieres of several early 18th century chamber operas called “intermezzi.”
He has also been active in the opera house and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Opera, Rochester Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Cedar Rapids Opera and many other companies.
His recordings include 3 intermezzos on the Naxos label and Menotti’s The Medium, Vorisek Mass in B-Flat and Mozart arias and duets, all on the Cedille label.