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Michael ChingAmes, IA
An opera composer/librettist, conductor, songwriter, Michael Ching is the composer/librettist of the opera SPEED DATING TONIGHT! With nearly ninety productions since its 2013 premiere at the Janiec Opera of the Brevard Music Center, SPEED DATING TONIGHT! is one of the most popular operas of the 21st century. His newest opera, RSBE, had its premiere at the University of Alabama in 2020. In 2018-2019, two new one act operas had their premieres, THRIVERS, at Palm Springs Opera Guild, and EIGHT WOODS AND A VAN, at the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. Additional shorter operas in 2018-19 included BIRTHDAY CLOWN at the Savannah Voice Festival and COMPLETING THE PICTURE for Utah Opera’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. As Composer-in-Residence of Savannah Voice Festival, Michael wrote ALICE RYLEY (2015) and ANNA HUNTER (2017) two works with Savannah subjects. Other works include works include SLAYING THE DRAGON and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, opera a cappella, recorded on Albany Records. Michael’s other well known opera is BUOSO’S GHOST. BUOSO is a comic sequel to GIANNI SCHICCHI. Recently, BUOSO was performed at the Michigan Opera Theatre and OperaDelaware. In 2021, Savannah Voice Festival will premiere his CENERENTOLA sequel, A ROYAL FEAST.
Michael is Music Director of Amarillo Opera, Composer-in-Residence at Savannah Voice Festival, and Opera consultant at EC Schirmer. He is the former Artistic Director of Opera Memphis. In 2019, Michael was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Opera Association. Michael studied composition with Robert Ward at Duke University and Carlisle Floyd at the Houston Opera Studio.
With a lifelong devotion to the craft of operatic composition learned through the success and failure of over a dozen operas, through composition study, and through years of conducting the standard operatic repertoire; and with a strong interest in folk and country music, Michael is a somewhat of an outlier in the world of new music.
Finally, here’s an example of Michael’s singer/songwriter work
Michael is an annual contributor to New Music USA and thinks you should be too.
Review of MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, opera a cappella, Wall Street Journal
Excerpts from A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM, opera a cappella
Robert Ward believed that artists weren’t always outsiders, but people who could sit at the table beside donors, industrialists, and scientists and provide a different perspective on society.