Michael Axelsson - Biography
Michael Axelsson was born in Värmdö, Sweden. His studies include the University College of Opera in Stockholm and the performance programme in singing at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, as well as Musicology at the Stockholm University.
Since his debut as Don Curzio in the Marriage of Figaro at Drottningholms Slottsteater in 2006, Michael has sung a wide variety of roles ranging from the Mozart repertoire like Tamino in the Magic Flute and Ferrando in Cosí fan tutte, over Bel canto roles like Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ernesto in Don Pasquale, to character roles like Kolomán Zsupán in the Operetta Gräfin Mariza and Remendado in Carmen.
The different productions took him to opera houses like Norrlandsoperan, Dalhalla Opera, Drottningholms Slottsteater, Smålandsoperan, Opera på Skäret and BAM in New York. In the Autumn of 2018 he sang the Actor Jof in the opera “The Seventh Seal“ (based on the Film by Ingmar Bergman) in the concert first performance in Brazil, with the International Brazilian Opera Company (IBOC).
During 2010-2012, Michael was a member of the soloist ensemble at Landesbühnen Sachsen in Dresden, where he sang for example Tamino in The Magic Flute and Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Nicolai). In 2007 he was a laureate at Kammeroper Schloß Reihnsberg in Germany singing Dr. Cajus in Verdi’s Falstaff.
Michael started singing at an early age and had the opportunity to perform at the Stockholm Royal Opera as a boy soprano, singing e.g. Miles in The Turn of the Screw (Britten), Erster Knabe in The Magic Flute and Erster Edelknabe in Lohengrin, as well as singing the Cabin Boy in Brittens The Golden Vanity at a performance at Stockholm Concert Hall.
In the oratory field Michael has a wide repertoire, singing the Christmas Oratorio and the B Minor Mass by Bach, the Messiah by Händel, Requiem and the C Minor Mass by Mozart and Saint Nicolas by Britten. One of his specialties is singing the Evangelist Parts in the Passions by Bach. As a member of a male solo quartet he performs regularly at the Royal Chapel and the Royal Palace at official occasions.
In the field of chamber music Michael has performed for instance Serenade, Canticle I and II, and Songs from the Chinese by Benjamin Britten, Dichterliebe by Schumann and Die Schöne Müllerin by Schubert. The Swedish Lied is important for him and 2010 he released his first CD “Hjärtats sommar” focusing on Swedish art songs. He also collaborated with contemporary composers, for example with two song cycles by the composer and pianist Daniel Stagno and premiering a Requiem by Visby Cathedral Organist Claes Holmgren.
Singing in choir has been an important part of Michael's life from an early age, starting with Adolf Fredriks Music School in Stockholm, where he sang in the boy's choir under it's legendary leader Jan-Åke Hillerudh. Of great importance was also his time in the World Youth Choir (1999-2003) and working with Gary Graden in Stockholms Musikgymnasiums Kammarkör and S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir (1994-99 and 1999-2005 respectively). Michael has sung many times in The Swedish Radio Choir (since 2003) and Eric Ericson Chamber Choir (since 2004), being a permanent member in the latter 2018-2021. Since 2021 Michael is a permanent member of the Royal Opera Chorus in Stockholm.
Michael has studied with Mathias Zachariassen, Carl Unander-Scharin, Piotr Bednarski, Mattias Danielsson, and prof. Erik Saedén, and participated in Master Classes with Peter Berne, Olle Persson, Dan Marek and prof. Oren Brown. He has received scholarships from the Swedish Order of Free Masons, the Anders Sandrew Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and participated as finalist in the Gösta Winbergh Award.