Recognised as having a voice that is “beautifully elegant”, and possessing a tone of “heroic light radiance”, Michael Petruccelli is an Australian, international operatic tenor.
This year Michael has been involved in a wonderfully varied collection of projects. He has performed: The Cartographer for the Australian premiere of Mary Finsterer’s new opera Antarctica, which opened the 2023 Sydney Festival; as a soloist in the Music By The Springs recital series; soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Gisborn Singers, Koki for Short Black Opera’s Parrwang Lifts the Sky; Monsier Taupe in Strauss’ Capriccio under the baton of Simone Young for Victorian Opera; Silvio and Le Jeu in Pinchgut Opera’s Pleasures of Versailles; as tenor soloist in Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic; as tenor soloist in Britten’s Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and a recital with Coady Green-Smith at St Patrick’s Cathedral. He also covered the role of Froh in Das Rheingold which was part of Melbourne Opera’s Bendigo Ring Cycle. Michael will finish the year appearing as several roles in Richard Mill’s newest Opera, Galileo, again for Victorian Opera.
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.
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 relocated back to Australia in mid 2020. Throughout the Covid effected years of 2020 and 2021 he debuted as Count Almaviva in West Australian Opera’s The Barber of Seville; created the role of Koki in Deborah Cheetham’s opera Parrwang Lifts the Sky, a co-production between Victorian Opera and Short Black Opera which was nominated for both a Green Room Award, for best new opera, as well as an APRA AMCOS & Australian Music Centre Art Music Award for best new dramatic work.
In 2022, on the opera stage Michael performed Le Mesurier in State Opera South Australia’s critically acclaimed production of Voss, he made his mainstage debut with Sydney Chamber Opera, performing the The Cartographer in Mary Finsterer’s Antarctica, which premiered in the 75th Holland Festival in Amsterdam, he performed a number of roles for the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic’s Tchaikovsky: Angel of Music and he was the leading tenor, Jason, in Pinchgut Opera’s Médée, for which he received rave reviews. On the concert platform, he performed as tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra and in the Messiah with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He also performed the solo recitals, L'invitation au Voyage with Coady Green and The Complexities of Love with Elyane Laussade, and was the resident tenor recitalist for the 2022 Renaissance Tours Fesitval of Chamber Music at Mitchelton Winery in Nagambie.
Michael is no stranger to the concert platform. In Australia, Michael has been a soloist for Victorian Opera, Opera Australia, The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, State Opera South Australia, and for the City of Stonnington’s The Classics: Opera summer outdoor concert series. He has also performed as a soloist with various choirs and churches including St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral. 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. His performed repertoire includes: Händel’s Saul (Johnathan), Schubert’s Missa Brevis in G major, Mozart’s Reqiuem in D minor, 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 enjoys collaborating in recital with various pianists and chamber groups. In Australia he has performed recitals for Renaissance Tours, Music by the Springs, Melba Opera Trust, the Robert Stolz Viennese Music Society, the Lieder Society of Victoria, the Ardent Crescent Concert Series, the Team of Pianists and at St Patrick’s Cathedral. While in Germany he performed: regular “Intermezzo Lunchtime Recitals” in the foyer of the Oper Frankfurt opera house and a recital for the Frankfurt Museums Salon with acclaimed international repetiteur, Felice Venanzoni.
Michael has also been the recipient of various awards, scholarships and prizes. Most recently, Michael was finalist and first prize winner in the 2023 Sydney International Song Prize. In competitions Michael was a finalist in the Herald Sun Aria, a finalist in The Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship, he won second prize in the 2020 Australian Singing Competition ASC@Home International Singing Competition, he was a finalist and prize winner in the 3rd International Ljuba Welitsch Singing Competition in Vienna and was the second prize winner in the 2017 Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria. Michael has also been awarded a number of Scholarships which have aided his vocal and career development. These include: the 2021 Honor Sambrook Alumni Grant through the Melba Opera Trustan, an Australian Cultural Fund grant, the Australia Council for the Arts ‘Career Development Grant for Individuals’, the Brian Boak Bursary, the Donovan-Johnston Memorial Scholarship as an alumnus of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the RJ and AF Hamer Opera Scholarship as a Melba Opera Trust scholar and the Richard Bonynge Scholarship through Melbourne Opera.