With a voice praised as “beautiful”, “thrilling”, and “rich”, tenor Michael Calmés has achieved a distinguished record of performances in opera, oratorio, concerts, and recitals. Since his Boston Lyric Opera Company debut in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, he has been acclaimed in productions ranging from the sophistication of Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos to the effervescent wit of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.
A full lyric tenor of great versatility, Mr. Calmés performs with numerous choruses and orchestras in the United States. He excels in masterworks such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Symphony No. 9, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, and a voluminous repertoire of well-known and rare works encompassing Monteverdi, Mozart, and contemporary masters – most notably Daniel Pinkham, who has written song cycles and other works for him.
His work as a recitalist has elicited high praise for the beauty of his voice, musical intelligence, and communicative artistry. He appears frequently as a guest artist on many series and has often toured and concertized with Boston Symphony Orchestra organist James David Christie.
He made his European debut in the Bach Magnificat at the Rijeka (Yugoslavia) Festival and in Venice in 1985. International concert and recital tours since have taken him to Austria, Belgium, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, and The Netherlands, including radio and television appearances.
Mr. Calmés has also sung for important public occasions, beginning with the Bicentennial visit of Queen Elizabeth II. He is a past president of America’s senior musical institution, the Handel and Haydn Society; a member of the Executive Committee of the American Guild of Musical Artists (New England Region) and, in 1991, founded the Boston Aria Guild. He is now a principal of Janus 21 Chamber Ensemble and Tres Divi, a concert trio with soprano Priscilla Gale and pianist William Merrill.