Michael Wade Lee

Wichita Grand Opera Michael Lee


  • Don José - "Carmen"

Continuing to thrill audiences worldwide with his powerful voice and amazing performances, critics hail American tenor Michael Wade Lee as “that rarity among operatic tenors, a really good-looking, virile, well-built and gifted thespian with a wide-ranging voice to match.” A seasoned performer on the operatic stage, he performs with some of the most respected companies in the world.

In 2017/18, Michael reprised Calaf in Turandot with Theater Essen.

2016/17 saw Michael sing Radames with Estonian National Opera’s Aida, and Don José in Carmen which he also sang in the 2015/16 ENO season, along with Il Duca in Rigoletto and Alfredo in La Traviata. He continues to sing Don José in Carmen with Theater Osnabruck and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with Theater Krefeld/Mönchengladbach. In 2014/15, Theater Essen had the honor of seeing Michael Wade Lee’s first ever Calaf in Turandot. Soon after, he performed Don José in Carmen and Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra with Theater Osnabruck. He returned to Theater Essen to sing his first Riccardo Un Ballo In Mashcera. And Boston Lyric Opera had the pleasure of Michael’s first Alfredo in La Traviata.

In 2013/14 season, Michael sang the title role of Stiffelio with Theater Krefeld/Mönchengladbach and Theater Mannheim, Il Duca in Rigoletto with Birmingham Opera and Festival of the Aegean and Don José in Carmen with Rahvoosoper in Estonia. He sang Alfredo in La Traviata with Boston Lyric Opera for the first time after his first ever Cavaradossi in Tosca with Lyric Opera Productions Ireland. In 2013, Michael sang his first Radamès in Aida twice, with Annapolis Opera and Lyric Opera Productions Dublin. He debuted with Opera North UK as Cassio in Verdi’s masterpiece Otello. He opened the season as Il Duca in Rigoletto with Pittsburgh Opera.

2012 saw Michael make his Glyndebourne debut as Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore with stomping ovations and rave reviews! He also covered Bryan Hymel as the Prince in Rusalka at Covent Garden. American Symphony Orchestra featured Michael as the tenor soloist in the North American premiere of Vladimir Shcherbachov’s Symphony No. 2 “Blokovskaya”, live from Avery Fisher Hall.

2011 saw Michael debut Manrico in Il Trovatore in Ireland and again with Wichita Grand Opera, as well as sing his first Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Connecticut Lyric Opera.

Known for his acting ability and versatility in the operatic repertoire, Michael’s many roles include Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Don José, Turiddu, The Duke, The Male Chorus, Tamino, Nanki-Pooh, Der Hauptmann, the Prince in Rusalka, and Raymond Pocket in Miss Havisham’s Fire. 

He has sung with Greek National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera North UK, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, Staatstheater Mainz, Lyric Opera Productions (Ireland), Musica Viva (Hong Kong), The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, DiCapo Opera, Chelsea Opera, Merola @ The San Francisco Opera, San Antonio Opera, Kentucky Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Mississippi Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Nashville Opera, Annapolis Opera, El Paso Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Opera In The Heights, Raylynmor Opera, and Indiana Opera Theater. He created the role of The Actor in the world premiere of Fireworks! a new American opera by Kitty Brazelton, with American Opera Projects in New York.

A native of Texas, Michael received his BM from Stephen F. Austin State University under the guidance of Dr. Deborah Ann Dalton, and his MM from Indiana University. He was consistently a finalist in the Texoma region’s NATS competitions. He also won the Metropolitan Opera National Council encouragement award in Indiana in 2000 as well as being endowed with the prestigious Merola Career Grant and the Pacific Opera Career Grant, both since 2004.