Melbourne-based baritone Michael Lampard was born in Hobart and studied at the University of Tasmania before making his debut with Melbourne Opera in 2008 as Schaunard (La Boheme, Puccini) at the age of 21. In 2018–19 he was a founding member of the Richard Divall Emerging Artist Program at Melbourne Opera, and in 2018 was runner up in the Herald Sun Aria competition.
Michael quickly gained attention as one of Australia’s leading young dramatic baritones, with one recent review stating, “it’s Lampard’s slimy, limping and crotch-centric Scarpia that steals the show, deftly portraying man as beast in well articulated hair raising resonance and dramatic fullness.” (review of Tosca, Paul Selar – Herald Sun).
In 2019-20 Michael made his debut as a principal artist with Opera Australia as Schaunard in Puccini’s La Boheme in a season of performances at the Sydney Opera House.
Michael has performed more than 50 operatic roles, ranging from baroque to new music. His repertoire includes operas by Mozart (Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte and Die Zauberflöte), Puccini (La Boheme, Madama Butterfly and Tosca), Verdi (La Traviata, Macbeth, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and Un Ballo in Maschera), and Wagner (Tannhauser, Die Walkure, Tristan und Isolde, and covering roles in Lohengrin and the title role in Die Fliegende Höllander). Other highlights include Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, and Bizet’s Pearl Fishers and Carmen.
In 2019 Michael was nominated for a Green Room Award for his portrayal of Kurwenal in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. A critically praised performance, Concertonet wrote:
“Michael Lampard’s Kurwenal… strongly delivered and well-rounded portrayal… commanding stage presence.“
And Limelight magazine saying:
“Michael Lampard… enhanced the poignant beauty of Act III’s lamentation and death with his honeyed baritone.“
In March 2018, Michael performed the role of the Soldier in the world premiere of James Humberstone and Nigel Featherstone’s dramatic theatrical song cycle The Weight of Light, presented by The Street Theatre in Canberra. Of his performance, City News said:
“The sound of Lampard’s singing and spoken voice, whether up in falsetto or deep into his baritone range, is perhaps the most effective aspect of the whole performance.”
and the Canberra Times said:
“Lampard’s intense performance catches a real sense of the pressure that the soldier is under. He not only plays the soldier but also his mother, calling for him to come home, shifting there into a falsetto that was so wonderfully different from that of a baritone, it caused me to look for another performer’s name on the program. He is also effortlessly the voice of the father, of the woman who has news of a pregnancy and of the dead brother, who dies perhaps because his version of masculinity is too gentle to survive.”
Michael’s competition success includes winning awards in the Australian Singing Competition (2006 and 2008), the Herald Sun Aria (2018), the Welsh Male Choir Singer of the Year (2015) and Liederfest (2005). In 2007 he was a quarter-finalist in Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition in Paris.
Equally at home in recital as on the operatic stage, Michael has performed in Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and extensively across Australia, appearing with major opera companies and orchestras, and in recital series and many large-scale concert events. Michael has a long-standing partnership with pianist Rhodri Clarke presenting recitals and concerts in Victoria and around Australia focusing on the German Romantic lied repertoire and 20th Century English Art Song.
Michael has worked with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera, Rome Opera Festival, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and has recorded extensively for ABC Classic FM. He has worked with leading international conductors including Placido Domingo, Carlo Goldstein, Brian Castles-Onion, Tahu Matheson, Marko Latonja, Richard Bonynge, Antony Negus, Richard Mills, Fabian Russell, Richard Divall, Myer Fredman, and Warwick Stengards.
In 2019 Michael created the role of William Buckley in the world premiere of Antony Ransome’s opera Buckley. He performed with Melbourne Opera in a series of Italian Opera Gala concerts and covered the title role in Wanger’s Die Fliegende Hollander. For Emotionworks Cut Opera Michael sang Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and the four villains in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. 2019 also saw Michael tour regionally in Victoria and New South Wales with GBD Productions as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’Amore.
Michael is also a highly regarded composer. Artists who have performed his songs and song cycles include singers Sally-Anne Russell and Suzanne Shakespeare, pianist Rhodri Clarke and the Quartz String Quartet.
A conductor, he has worked with choirs, orchestras and opera companies in Tasmania. Recently, Michael made his stage directorial debut for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Tasmania. Michael formed the Tasmanian Opera Chorus (working on Melbourne Opera regional tours and for the University of Tasmania) and Hip-Pocket Opera for which he is the Artistic Director. Please contact Michael for more information about these areas of interest.