Michael Ching photo by Murray Riss APPROVED.jpg

Michael Ching, composer/conductor

A highly acclaimed and prolific composer, and a noted conductor, Michael Ching has written works performed by opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States. Described as “compelling,” “ provocative,” and “uplifting,” with passages of “sheer poetry,” Mr. Ching’s compositions have been presented by OperaDelaware, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Memphis, Chicago Opera Theatre, New Orleans Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Dayton Opera, Triangle Opera Theater, Virginia Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Center, Fargo Moorhead Opera, Anchorage Opera, Texas Opera Theater, the Atlanta Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Memphis Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Charlotte Symphony, among others.

An opera composer/librettist, conductor, songwriter, Michael Ching is the composer/librettist of the opera SPEED DATING TONIGHT! With over sixty productions since its 2013 premiere at the Janiec Opera of the Brevard Music Center, SPEED DATING TONIGHT! is one of the most popular operas of the 21st century. Michael’s most recent works are two new operas for the Savannah Voice Festival, ALICE RYLEY (2015)  and ANNA HUNTER (2017). Other works include works include SLAYING THE DRAGON and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM,  opera a cappella, recorded on Albany Records. Michael’s other well known opera is BUOSO’S GHOST.  BUOSO is a comic sequel to GIANNI SCHICCHI.

Michael is Music Director of Amarillo Opera, Composer-in-Residence at Savannah Voice Festival, and Opera consultant at EC Schirmer. He is the former Artistic Director of Opera Memphis. Michael studied composition with Robert Ward at Duke University and Carlisle Floyd at the Houston Opera Studio.

With a lifelong devotion to the craft of operatic composition learned through the success and failure of over a dozen operas, through composition study, and through years of conducting the standard operatic repertoire; and with a strong interest in folk and country music, Michael is a somewhat of an outlier in the world of new music. 

His comic one act opera, Speed Dating Tonight, premiered at the Brevard Music Center's Janiec Opera Company in 2013. Mr. Ching’s works have received several NEA grants and funding by Meet the Composer. One of the most prominent students of American composers Robert Ward and Carlisle Floyd, Mr. Ching is the current President of the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera which provides fellowships for young composers.

Recently appointed music director of Nickel City Opera, Mo. Ching has led acclaimed performances of numerous operas (including his own works) together with operetta and musical theater productions for companies throughout the United States. He has worked with Florida Grand Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera New Jersey, Nashville Opera, Opera North Carolina, Virginia Opera, and Opera Memphis, where he also served as artistic director. Mo. Ching has performed the works of varied composers ranging from Gluck to Wargo, Hummon and Legg. Operatic repertoire performed comprises Orpheus, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Traviata, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Werther, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Lucia di Lammermoor, Porgy and Bess, Faust, Turandot, Un Ballo in Maschera, Il Trovatore, La Bohème, Gianni Schicchi, Buoso’s Ghost, Roméo and Juliette, La Cenerentola, Tosca, Faust, Surrender Road, The Informer, Different Fields, Claudia LeGare among others. Mo. Ching has also led performances of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan (The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance), Richard Rogers’s The King and I and South Pacific, and Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady.

Recent and upcoming projects for Mo. Ching include conducting assignments in Madame Butterfly for Amarillo Opera, Barber of Seville for Shreveport Opera, and La Bohème for Nickel City Opera. He looks forward to Don Pasquale for Nickel City Opera in 2013 and Lucia di Lammemoor in a return engagement with Amarillo Opera also in 2013.