Continuing to thrill audiences worldwide with his powerful voice and amazing performances, critics hail American Tenor Michael Wade Lee as "that rarity among operatic tenors, a really good-looking, virile, well-built and gifted thespian with a wide-ranging voice to match.” A seasoned performer on the operatic stage, he performs with some of the most respected companies in the world.
In 2014/15, Theater Essen had the honor of seeing Michael Wade Lee's first ever Calaf in Turandot. Soon after he will again perform Don José in Carmen and Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra with Theater Osnabruck. He will return in 2015 to Theater Essen to sing his first Riccardo Un Ballo In Mashcera.
In 2013/14 season, Michael sang the title role Stiffelio with Theater Krefeld/Mönchengladbach and Theater Mannheim, Il Duca Rigoletto with Birmingham Opera and Festival Of The Aegean and Don José Carmen with Rahvoosoper in Estonia.. He will soon sing Alfredo La Traviata with Boston Lyric Opera for the first time after his first ever Cavaradossi Tosca with Lyric Opera Productions Ireland. In 2013, Michael sang his first Radamès Aida twice, with Annapolis Opera and Lyric Opera Productions Dublin. He debuted with Opera North UK as Cassio in Verdi's masterpiece Otello. He opened the season as Il Duca Rigoletto with Pittsburgh Opera.
2102 saw Michael make his Glyndebourne debut as Nemorino L'Elisir D'Amore with stomping ovations and rave reviews! He also covered Bryan Hymel as the Prince in Rusalka at Covent Garden. American Symphony Orchestra featured Michael as the tenor soloist in the North American premiere of Vladimir Shcherbachov’s Symphony No. 2 “Blokovskaya”, live from Avery Fisher Hall. You can purchase the album HERE! There are also two new videos available for you to enjoy, HERE, and HERE!
2011 saw Michael debut Manrico Il Trovatore in Ireland and again with Wichita Grand Opera, as well as sing his first Hoffmann Les contes d'Hoffmann with Connecticut Lyric Opera.
In 2010, Michael thrilled audiences in the UK and Poland with his renditions of great tenor arias, and wowed Texas audiences with his seductive performances as the Duke in Rigoletto. He followed that with successful performances as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with Kentucky Opera.
In 2009, Michael made his northern European debut in Mainz, Germany, as a "helden-voiced" Don José in Carmen with the Staatstheater Mainz. 2009-10 saw Michael singing with City Of Birmingham Symphony-Orchestra, El Paso Opera, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and returning to England for another engagement with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He returned later in 2009 to the United States for his featured solo concert debut with Midland Symphony following performances of Don José in Carmen in Dublin, Ireland. He will return to Dublin in 2011 to sing Manrico in Verdi's Il trovatore.
In 2008-09, Michael performed Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly in Hong Kong, Don José in Carmen with San Antonio Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera and in 2007 with Chautauqua Opera and at the Greek National Opera with Denyce Graves. He also performed as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Midland Symphony and New York City Opera.
In 2008, he made his official debut in Avery Fisher Hall as the tenor soloist in the North American Premiere of Scherbachyov’s symphony, Blokovskaya with American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Leon Botstien. The New York Times said he "sang with attractive tone and stamina." In 2006, he appeared with ASO as the 1st Guest in Dargomyzsky’s The Stone Guest again under the Baton of Leon Botstien at Avery Fisher Hall. He also performed in the Lincoln Center Festival’s production of Goldenthal’s opera, Grendel, directed by Julie Taymor.
He was also personally chosen by Stephen Schwartz in 2008 to sing the role of Charles Clayton in the American Opera Project’s first public reading of his new opera, Séance On A Wet Afternoon. Before that, he sang the Duke in Rigoletto with Opera In The Heights and Connecticut Lyric Opera. He also sang Turiddu in Chelsea Opera’s premiere production of Cavaleria Rusticana, and in July of 2004 performed the role of Male Chorus in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia to great acclaim with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera program. “The best singing came from...tenor Michael Wade Lee, who combined heroism and honeyed tenderness in equal measure” (San Francisco Chronicle 2004).
Known for his acting ability and versatility in the operatic repertoire, Michael's many roles include Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Don José, Turiddu, The Duke, The Male Chorus, Tamino, Nanki-Pooh, Der Hauptmann, the Prince in Rusalka, and Raymond Pocket in Miss Havisham’s Fire.
He has sung with Greek National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera North UK, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, Staatstheater Mainz, Lyric Opera Productions (Ireland), Musica Viva (Hong Kong), The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, DiCapo Opera, Chelsea Opera, Merola @ The San Francisco Opera, San Antonio Opera, Kentucky Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Mississippi Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Nashville Opera, Annapolis Opera, El Paso Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Opera In The Heights, Raylynmor Opera, and Indiana Opera Theater. He created the role of The Actor in the world premiere of Fireworks! a new American opera by Kitty Brazelton, with American Opera Projects in New York. In addition, Mr. Lee has been a member of Pacific Opera’s roster since 2002.
Michael Wade Lee has appeared in concert with American Symphony Orchestra, Midland Symphony, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Pilska Orkiestra Klasyczna, Kalamazoo Symphony, Bridgeport Symphony and San Antonio Symphony, as well as the San Francisco Opera Orchestra conducted by Stephen Lord at the San Francisco War Memorial, and on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall. His concert and oratorio repertoire include the tenor soloist in Scherbachyov’s Blokovskaya, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s Messiah, Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Haydn’s The Creation.
A native of Texas, Michael received his BM from Stephen F. Austin State University under the guidance of Dr. Deborah Ann Dalton, and his MM from Indiana University. He was consistently a finalist in the Texoma region's NATS competitions. He also won the Metropolitan Opera National Council encouragement award in Indiana in 2000 as well as being endowed with the prestigious Merola Career Grant and the Pacific Opera Career Grant, both since 2004.