Canada-based tenor Michael Schade has achieved international success quite evenly across the three areas of his career: concert, recital, and opera. In the latter realm he is considered one of the world's finest Mozart tenors, though his repertory includes operatic roles of Wagner, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss Jr., Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, and many others. He has sung Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin on the recital stage and Verdi's Requiem, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, Haydn's Theresienmess, and Missa Sancti Nicolai in concert. Schade has appeared at the major operatic venues, including the Met, San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival, National Opera of Paris, Canadian Opera, and at many of the leading concert halls across Europe and the Americas. He has made numerous recordings for many labels, including RCA, DG, Hanssler Classics, Hyperion, Naxos, Nonesuch, and others.
Michael Schade was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 23, 1965. His family relocated to Germany in his early childhood and then, when he was 12, to Canada, where he still lives. After vocal training at St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto, Schade enrolled at the University of Western Ontario, first for pre-med studies, then for vocal training.
Schade graduated in 1988 and that same year debuted at the Pacific Opera Victoria singing Jaquino in Beethoven's Fidelio. He continued with advanced studies at the Curtis Institute over the next few years and during this period won the 1990 New York Oratorio Competition.
In 1991 Schade sang the Evangelist in Bach's St. John Passion on tour with conductor Helmuth Rilling. Two years later he debuted at the Met singing Jaquino. Other major appearances in the 1990s included debuts at La Scala, the Paris Opera, and Salzburg Festival.
Among Schade's earliest recordings were a trio of 1994 issues: Wagner's Die Meistersinger (EMI), singing David; Verdi's Otello (DG), singing Roderigo; and Haydn's Theresienmess and Missa Sancti Nicolai (DG). In 1997 he received Juno (Canada) and Gabriel Fauré (France) awards for his album Soirée Française (CBC Records), with baritone Russell Braun.
In the new century Schade has risen to the status of international star. He was awarded the title of kammersänger by the Austrian government in 2007, the first Canadian male singer ever to receive the honor. Schade's recordings include the 2008 Arthaus DVD Concert in Honour of Pope Benedict XVI, whereon he sings in the Beethoven Ninth with Mariss Jansons conducting.