At a Glance
Mr. Parker is a creative and deeply knowledgeable voice teacher and vocal coach, who has worked for decades on a global scale with some of the greatest singers of this or any age, including Dame Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballe, Placido Domingo, Beverly Sills, Luciano Pavarotti, and Sherrill Milnes. His vocal pedagogy has taken him across the United States and around the world to England, Scotland, Australia, China, Spain, Austria, Italy, and Mexico.
He is equally at home working with professional singers performing in major opera houses and students and young artists just beginning their journey to making their mark on stages the world over. Likewise, his voice teaching prepares students or polishes professionals for music ranging from opera and oratorio to lieder to children’s theater to the best of Broadway. Mr. Parker is there to unlock, develop, and solidify vocal technique irrespective of repertoire. To him, great singing is simply great singing. And the confidence a solid technique gives a singer of any genre whether in a practice studio or at an audition or getting through stage rehearsals or dazzling an audience during a performance is incalculable.
That is what Mr. Parker is all about—bedrock fundamentals, nuanced vocal interpretations, and audience-ready, beautiful singing.
In addition, he is a musical historian of the first order whose knowledge of the rich history of singing brings music to life, lifting it off the page straight into the hearts of listeners. This gift is particularly evident when he accompanies singers on the piano for vocal recitals, concerts, and auditions.
In His Own Words
I have been privileged to have worked closely with some of the greatest singers of all time. My own voice lessons in undergraduate and graduate school gave me a firm foundation for my work today, enhanced by a love of vocal music and the good fortune to have been the protégé of Jack Metz, acknowledged as one of the greatest voice teachers and vocal coaches of his generation.
I have exhaustively studied the teachings of the old vocal masters (such as Manuel Garcia II, Giovanni Battista Lamperti, and Marchesi, both mother and daughter) and draw on their beliefs and insights—streamlined and re-imagined for today’s world.
Maestro Richard Bonynge and his wife—La Stupenda, Dame Joan Sutherland—with whom I worked on a series of bel canto and French operas over a period of several years have both been a major influence. Their profound understanding of the human voice and the vocal arts have made in indelible mark on my musical development and, indeed, my life.
Singers & Conductors
Dame Joan Sutherland
Fredericka von Stade
Dame Heather Begg
San Diego Opera
Los Angeles Music Center Opera
Des Moines Metro Opera
Washington National Opera
Gran Teatre del Liceu/ Barcelona
Teatro de la Maestranza/Seville
Australian Opera/Sydney and Melbourne
Opera of West Australia Opera/Perth
Private voice studios in London, Washington, DC and San Diego
Maestro Richard Bonynge
Maestro Theo Alcantara
Maestro Edoardo Muller
Maestro Thomas Fulton
Maestro John Mauceri
Maestro Mstislav Rospropovich
Maestra Sarah Caldwell
Maestro Carlo Cillario
Maestro Leonard Bernstein
Maestra Karen Keltner
Maestro Carlo Rizzi
Sir Neville Marriner
Maestro Michelangelo Veltri
Maestro Armando Gatto
Representative Opera Repertoire
Masterworks of such composers as Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Cherubini, Pacini, Ponchielli, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Wolf-Ferrari, Massenet, Offenbach, Thomas, Bizet, Poulenc, Johann Strauss II, Richard Strauss, Wagner, Lehar, Vaughan Williams, Prokofiev, and Menotti.
Some Career Highlights to Date
- Die Fledermaus with Sutherland and Sills, the only time they performed together.
- I Masnadieri, starring Dame Joan.
- Dame Joan’s retirement opera, Les Huguenots, at the Sydney Opera House.
- Tchaikovsky’s Iolantha with Galina Vishnevskaya, conducted by Maestro Rostropovitch.
- Musical director for Tonight at 8:30 by Sir Noel Coward.
- Musical director of children’s theater production of Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck.
Founding director of “The Handel Connoisseur “- a concert series dedicated to the works of Handel and also featuring works by other 18th century composers Bononcini, Arne, Shield, and Graun.
Guest lecturer for “The Smithsonian Institution”:
- The European Grand Tour in Song
- Gilbert & Sullivan: Satirists, Social Commentators, Masters of Musical Theater
- The Golden Age of Operetta
- Handel, the Master
- The Art of Bel Canto and Bel Canto Opera
- The Art of Song – A History
- Church Music of the German Reformation
Michael Parker’s vocal studio is in Washington, DC just blocks from mass transit, with convenient, residential street parking nearby. He can be reached by mobile telephone, text, or email.
Lessons begin at one hour in length and can be longer by half-hour increments up to two hours. Rates are available upon request.