The Canadian tenor, Michiel Schrey, began his musical life as an Anglican Cathedral chorister in his home town of Kingston, Ontario. This rich musical tradition was a strong influence: after moving to Montreal and completing a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics at McGill University, he began his vocal training there, receiving his Master's in Vocal Performance. He studied with the renowned teaching team of William Neill and Dixie Ross Neill, and pursued further vocal studies at the Britten-Pears School, the Banff Centre, the Steans Institute (Ravinia Festival, Chicago) and the Carmel Bach Festival. A grant from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec allowed him to study privately in England with Yvonne Minton and Diane Forlano. He finished his studies with Jan Simons.
Michiel Schrey began a busy and varied performing career while still an undergraduate in Music, and he has continued to perform and teach singing for over twenty years. He has been a soloist in opera, Baroque opera, oratorio and recital throughout Canada, and has also performed in the USA, Great Britain, France, Austria, and South Korea.
In Baroque opera, he worked with Toronto's renowned company Opera Atelier on more than ten productions, and also performed at the Festival de Musique Baroque de Lamèque, the Vancouver Festival, the Festival Baroque Montréal, with Cleveland's Apollo's Fire, and with the orchestra Le Concert Spirituel (Paris). With the latter he performed at the Opéra-Comique de Paris, and also at the opera houses of Rennes, Orléans and Dijon.
Michiel Schrey has performed in operas by Gluck, Monteverdi, W.A. Mozart, Richard Strauss, Adolphe Adam, Heinrich Marschner and Verdi, with Pacific Opera Victoria, Edmonton Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Toronto's Opera in Concert, and the Opéra-Théâtre de Rimouski. He has workshopped new operas with the Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera. He was a member of the first cast of Tobin Stokes's new Canadian opera The Vinedressers. In operetta, he appeared with the Toronto Operetta Theatre (Der Bettelstudent) and the Opéra-Bouffe du Québec (Les Mousquetaires au Couvent, La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein). He has also performed opera excerpts with the Viennese 18th-century orchestra Helios 18, with the Orchestre du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, and in a concert performance of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kent Nagano.
Michiel Schrey has a strong affinity for new and recent music, and won second prize as well as the prize for the commissioned work at the 1993 Eckhardt-Grammaté Competition for Canadian Music. He has performed concert works of Michael Finnissy, Wilhelm Killmayer, Robert Normandeau, Michael Oesterle, Linda Catlin Smith, Gerhard Stäbler, Gilles Tremblay, and Claude Vivier, among others. He has often performed with the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, and was a member of the new-music Ensemble Kore for the duration of its existence. With the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal he created Luna Pearl Wolf's operoratorio Orpheus on Sappho's Shore, which was well-reviewed by the New York Times, and also the recent comic-book opera Les Aventures de Madame Merveille, with a book by Cecil Castellucci and music by André Ristic. Beginning in March 2014 he took part in the next creation by this same team. He appeared in the Montreal new opera company Chants Libres's 20th anniversary gala, and performed in their recent production of Pierre Michaud's Le Rêve de Grégoire. He also took part in the international tour of Claude Vivier's opera Kopernikus, produced by l'Opéra de Montréal and Toronto's Autumn Leaf Productions.
Highlights of Michiel Schrey's concert performances include Messiah at the Palàcio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Carmina Burana with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at Roy Thomson Hall, and Schubert's Winterreise with the wind ensemble Pentaedre and accordionist Joseph Petric. He has sung many, many Evangelists in J.S. Bach's Passions, throughout Canada, as well as many of the church cantatas of J.S. Bach. He has also always performed as an ensemble singer, having continued his association with the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal since 1991, and culminating in a recent appearance at Carnegie Hall. He toured Quebec and France, and recorded a CD entitled "Sérénades", with the vocal quartet Figaro. He has also made frequent appearances as a soloist and ensemble singer with Daniel Taylor's Theatre of Early Music.
Michiel Schrey has been active as a studio musician, collaborating on soundtracks for the Cirque du Soleil (KA, Corteo), Ice Age the musical, and an IMAX film about Haitian disaster relief for composer Michel Cusson. He can be heard as a featured pirate singer on Ubisoft's worldwide video game hit, Assassin's Creed 4, Black Flag. He has also sung the national anthems at the Bell Centre for the Montreal Canadiens.
Among his upcoming performances are the world premiere of Colin Doroschuk's opera Evangeline with the Opéra-Théâtre de Rimouski, a concert and recording tour with the Gabrieli Consort (England), a concert of J.S. Bach's cantatas with the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, and a concert of traditional shanties and tavern songs with La Nef.
Michiel Schrey has taught singing privately and for the Department of Music of Concordia University. He has also taught lessons and given master classes at the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto. He was recently a member of the preliminary selection jury for the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition. He currently lives in Montreal, Quebec. He is represented worldwide by Marie-Catherine Lapointe, Boulev'art Artists' Management.