Recognised as a “versatile and confident performer” with a “pure, glowing tenor”, Michael Petruccelli is an Australian, international operatic artist.
This year, Michael made his mainstage debut with West Australian Opera performing the role of Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. Michael was also excited to return to his hometown of Melbourne to create and perform the role of Koki, in the premiere of Deborah Cheetham's opera Parrwang Lifts the Sky, a co-production between Victorian Opera and Short Black Opera.
Unfortunately, due to the continued COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne, Michael’s solo recital at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne and his performances of Le Mesurier in State Opera South Australia’s production of Voss and Prunier in National Opera’s production of La Rondine have been postponed to 2022.
A graduate of The University of Melbourne, Michael began his career as a Developing Artist with Victorian Opera and the Melba Opera Trust. He has since been engaged by a number of leading opera companies and festivals in Australia and New Zealand including Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, West Australian Opera, Short Black Opera, Perth Festival, Sydney Festival and New Zealand Opera He has also begun his international career as a member of Oper Frankfurt’s prestigious Opera Studio program.
During his time in the Victorian Opera Developing Artist Program, which was coupled with a Master of Music at The University of Melbourne, he performed the roles of Giuseppe in La Traviata, the Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel, the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Opera Land, An Australian Soldier in Richard Mills’ Remembrance and Der Vater in Kurt Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden.
Following his studies, in 2016 Michael was invited to perform with Opera Australia where he debuted in the role of Stephen Goldring in the critically acclaimed production of Sydney Opera House, The Opera (The Eighth Wonder), performed on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. He was also re-engaged by Victorian Opera to perform Arturo Ravenclaw, alongside international soprano Jessica Pratt, in Lucia di Lammermoor, Beppe in I Pagliacci in the co-production between Victorian Opera and Circus OZ, and the Herald in the children’s production of Cendrillion (Cinderella).
In 2017, Michael performed the role of Der Minister in Victorian Opera's production of Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse. For Opera Australia, he covered the role of Edrisi from Szymanowski's King Roger, a co-production between Opera Australia and the Royal Opera House, London. He also covered the two tenor roles of Marasquin and Pedro in Opera Australia’s Operetta Pastiche Two Weddings, One Bride at the Playhouse Theatre in the Sydney Opera House. Michael was fortunate to take over the role of Pedro from October.
2018 was a momentous year for Michael as he relocated to Frankfurt am Main, Germany to take up a position as a member of Oper Frankfurt’s prestigious Opera Studio. On the Oper Frankfurt main stage he performed the roles of Ein Italienischer Saenger in Strauss’ Capriccio and Ein Offizier in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Earlier that year in Australia, he debuted in role of Goro for Stonnington City Council’s The Classics: Opera (Madama Butterfly) concert series. He also participated in opera development workshops for two new works: Ned Kelly, for Lost and Found Opera in the Perth Festival and a new opera by Tim Finn, for New Zealand Opera. Between July and September, he reprised the role of Goro in Opera Australia’s touring production of Madama Butterfly.
As a member of the Oper Frankfurt Opera Studio throughout 2019 and 2020, Michael performed the mainstage roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Mozart’s La Nozze di Figaro, The Gondolier and Lucio in Rossini’s Otello and the Civil Servant and Night Watchman in Martinu’s Julietta, the Young Seaman in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and Remendado in Barrie Kosky’s famous production of Carmen. He was also the Tenor hero in the children’s opera, Little Opera World II - Evil Strikes Back and for the Mozart Festival in Würzburg. Michael was also excited to return to Australia to reprise the role of Pedro in Opera Australia’s Two Weddings, One Bride at the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse Theatre. Shortly after, he made his main stage debut with Pinchgut Opera in the role of Aquilio in the critically acclaimed Australian premiere of Vivaldi’s Farnace in Sydney.
Michael is no stranger to the concert platform. In Germany, he has performed as a soloist for: the Oper Frankfurt 2020 Ensemble Dinner at the Bockenheimer Depot; the 2019 Oper Frankfurt Opera Gala and the Champagner Musicale Concert with the Arschaffenburg Symphony Orchestra in Aschaffenburg. In Australia, Michael has been a soloist in a number of Victorian Opera galas as well as for the City of Stonnington’s The Classics: Opera summer outdoor concert series. He has also performed as an oratorio soloist with various choirs and churches in Melbourne and regional Victoria. His performed repertoire includes: Händel’s Saul (Johnathan), Schubert’s Missa Brevis in G major, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in D major and Coronation Mass, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Magnificat and St. Matthew Passion, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.
Michael also enjoys collaborating with various pianists and chamber groups. Most recently he has enjoyed creating and performing an online series of recordings of French songs throughout the 2020 Coronavirus isolation period with pianist Elyane Laussade. Other recent collaborations include: Intermezzo Lunchtime Recitals in the foyer of the Oper Frankfurt opera house; a recital for the Frankfurt Museums Salon with repetiteur Felice Venanzoni; the recital series Night and Day with Elyane Laussade; the Brahms Liebeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder waltzes with The Team of Pianists; Britten’s The Heart of the Matter (Canticle III) with chamber group Ensemble Goldentree and various recitals for the Melba Opera Trust, the Robert Stolz Viennese Music Society, the Lieder Society of Victoria and the Ardent Crescent Concert Series.
Michael has also been the recipient of various awards, scholarships and prizes. Most recently, he was the runner up in the 2020 Australian Singing Competition ASC@Home International Singing Competition. In 2019 he received an Australia Council for the Arts ‘Career Development Grant for Individuals’. In 2018, he was awarded the 2018 Brian Boak Bursary as well as the Donovan-Johnston Memorial Scholarship as an alumnus of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and was a finalist and prize winner in the 3rd International Ljuba Welitsch Singing Competition in Vienna. In 2017 he was a finalist in The Herald Sun Aria, the Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship, and Second Prize Winner of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria. In 2016, Michael was the recipient of the RJ and AF Hamer Opera Scholarship as a Melba Opera Trust scholar. In 2014, while in his first year as a masters student, he was awarded the Richard Bonynge Scholarship by Melbourne Opera.