Sought out for his “rich and resonant” and “sweet, well-projected lyric tenor,” Michael Desnoyers has sung over 50 different roles across San Francisco Bay Area stages, including performances with Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, West Edge Opera, Festival Opera, Lamplighters Music Theatre, Cinnabar Theatre, Ars Minerva, Pocket Opera, and the Handel Opera Project. Highlights from 2018 include Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, Marco in The Gondoliers, Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia, Paolino in Il matrimonio segreto, and the tenor solos in Orff’s Carmina Burana and Bach’s Johannes-Passion.
Praised for “a beautifully produced, even voice whose palpable sincerity and flawless legato seemed ideally suited to Mozart,” he has performed most of the major roles in the Mozart tenor repertoire, including Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and the title role in La clemenza di Tito.
With an extensive repertoire that spans from the Baroque to the 21st Century, Mr. Desnoyers has sung a number of world premieres, including the modern world premiere of Daniele da Castrovillari’s 1662 opera La Cleopatra. In 2014, he created the role of Marcus in Giancarlo Aquilanti’s The Oxford Companions. Other favorite roles include Albert in Albert Herring, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Sextus in Giulio Cesare, Bénédict in Béatrice et Bénédict, and Eisenstein and Alfred in Die Fledermaus. He frequently performs as a concert soloist, having sung Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass, and Vespere solennes; Bach’s Johannes-Passion and Matthäus-Passion; Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, CPE Bach’s Magnificat, and Dvorak’s Mass in D.
Mr. Desnoyers can be heard on the Lamplighters’ CD recordings, singing the roles of Cyril in Princess Ida, Ernest in The Grand Duke, and of Lord Tolloller in Iolanthe, where he was praised by Opera News for his “crystal clear timbre.” Mr. Desnoyers was a member of Chautauqua Opera Young Artist program where he performed the role of Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte 2011) and covered the role of Spoletta (Tosca 2009). He has performed with many Bay Area vocal ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, American Bach Soloists, Capella SF, and Gaude.
A passionate and active supporter of music education, Mr. Desnoyers is an Artist in Residence at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, where he conducts the tenor/bass ensemble The Clef Hangers, stage directs opera, and teaches vocal technique, musicianship, diction, and jazz history. He has performed with the San Francisco Opera Guild’s program Opera a la Carte for eight seasons, bringing shortened versions of popular operas to elementary and middle schools.