|"A boy sings ... a beautiful thing."|
Chorister, San Francisco Boys Chorus
Michael comes from a musical family. His mother is a piano teacher and chorister, his father an amateur musician, and his sister, Laura, a graduate of the San Francisco Girls Chorus. He started singing -- on pitch -- when he was a toddler. But it wasnt until age six, when he stumbled on the All-American Boys Chorus performing in a local shopping mall on their way to Canada, that Michael told his parents -- in no uncertain terms -- I want to do that. He immediately joined the San Francisco Boys Chorus.
It was through the chorus that Michael was asked at age nine -- to audition for the part of John, Peter Grimes apprentice, in the San Francisco Opera production of Peter Grimes. It was a very intense acting challenge for him, spending much stage time cowering and being abused by Peter, and then finally falling off a cliff to his death. He loved that part the most. It was in this opera that Michael discovered that he loved to act and that he wanted to be an opera singer when he grew up.
He still wants to be a singer today, although he is open to other genres besides opera. He likes almost all styles of music, and has fun singing in many different styles at home.
His most exciting performance has been the taping of Pie Jesu in duet with Charlotte Church before a live TV audience at age 10. Charlotte was very nice to him in rehearsals, and he remembers her fondly. He later performed solos on live TV, but it wasnt as much fun as singing with Charlotte.
At age 11, after having recorded on a number of tracks for the CDs of others and finding the recording process fun, Michael announced to his parents that he wanted to make a solo CD. And he kept on re-announcing it for months until they did something about it. The result was Beautiful Soup, recorded in the spring of 2002.
Besides music, Michaels hobbies are sports, skating, juggling, and unicycling. And hanging out with friends, he emphasizes. He enjoys his life in San Francisco, and has turned down opera opportunities in other States and countries so as not to miss out on the action at home.
"What can one say about Michael Bannett? This amazing 12-year-old singer has done it all ... A wonderful televised duet with Charlotte Church, major child roles in the San Francisco Opera, a premier operatic work under Kent Nagano, live radio and TV appearances, lead roles in musical theater, and recordings ranging from folk to avant-garde ... including ones with Donovan and Willie Nelson! ... you'll find this recording to be a trove of musical treasures, a concoction of styles and periods that Michael makes into ... well, as the title says ... a 'Beautiful Soup' ..."
- Ian Robertson, Chorus Director, San Francisco Opera; Artistic Director, San Francisco Boys Chorus
About the recording:
"Beautiful Soup" was recorded in the Spring of 2002 at Skywalker Sound and various northern California locations. The CD comes with a 12-page booklet containing photos and lyrics with translations.
1. Danny Boy
(Irish folk song)
10. O For the Wings of a Dove
2. Trade Winds
11. Bist Du Bei Mir
(J. S. Bach/Stoltzel)
3. Bonny at Morn
(Northumbrian folk song, arr. Jacobs)
12. Ma Navu
(W. A. Mozart/ Bernhard Flies)
13. Where Is Love?
(Lionel Bart), from "Oliver"
5. Caro Mio Ben
14. Ave Verum Corpus
(W. A. Mozart)
6. Ave Maria
(J. S. Bach/Gounod)
15. The Salley Gardens
(Irish folk song, arr. Britten)
7. Loch Lomond
(Scottish folk song)
16. The Gentle Maiden
(Irish folk song, arr. Somervell)
8. Round-shouldered Man
(Lucy Simon) from "The Secret Garden"
17. Long Time Ago
(English folk song, arr Copland)
18. Beautiful Soup
(F. W. Wadely)
Journey Through the British Isles
CD Review by Douglas Neslund
For more track samples and information, visit Michael's website.
To order Michael's CD "Beautiful Soup", click this link.
Copyright © 2002-2004 Don Bannett - Used with permission
Copyright © 2004 boychoirs.org
This page was last modified on 14 September 2004