As a child, Mike loved singing. There are still tapes of him trying to keep up with Michael Jackson hidden somewhere in his parent’s closet. Over time, he learned to play several instruments, including trumpet, guitar, french horn, flugelhorn, euphonium, and even the didgeridoo. He loved all kinds of music, but in high school he focused mostly on singing jazz and playing lead trumpet in the jazz band. Along with voice, Mike has years of experience both taking piano lessons and teaching as well. As he continued to play in his free time, he started doing cover songs and jazz standards.
In college, he was a vocal jazz major at Brigham Young University-Idaho, singing internationally with the school’s flagship choral group Vocal Union. While taking summer classes one year, he also started to sing with the opera workshop, where he developed his voice more, and fell in love with the amplified story telling of the art form. From there, he studied both opera and jazz. After completing his Bachelor’s, he went on to complete a Master’s in Voice Performance at the University of Idaho. Not only was he a member of the elite choral ensemble, the Vandaleers, but he also was a Graduate Teaching Assistant, where he conducted the Vandaleers, was the Assistant Director of the Opera Workshop, as well as taught voice lessons to majors and non-majors. He also did summer studies at the Redwoods Opera Workshop in Mendocino, California, Vancouver Summer Opera Studio in Vancouver, BC, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy in Paris.
During his professional career, he’s performed principal roles for opera companies all over the US, but has performed mostly in the Pacific Northwest. He’s performed with Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Inland Northwest Opera, Northwest Opera in the Schools, Etc…, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Opera On Tap - Seattle, and more. He co-founded Opera Unbound, a production company that adapts operas for today’s audiences by cutting them down to an hour, putting them in modern English, and producing them in non-traditional venues. He’s an avid recitalist, curating programs that not only show many types of wonderful classical music, but also help it connect more deeply to those who are unfamiliar with it.
Mike’s musical philosophy is very simple. Music is about connection, telling a story, and sharing with others feelings that you may not be able to express with words alone. Music, while difficult at times, still is one of the most fun things humans can do. His purpose is to help others enjoy it, and learn how to express themselves in the most powerful way they can.