An opera composer/librettist, conductor, and songwriter, Michael Ching is the composer/librettist of the opera SPEED DATING TONIGHT! With over one hundred thirty 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. Premiered weeks before the pandemic and lockdown, his opera RSBE still got its seventh production in the spring of 2022. Michael’s other well known opera is BUOSO’S GHOST. BUOSO is a comic sequel to GIANNI SCHICCHI. Recently, BUOSO was performed at the Florida Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and OperaDelaware, as well as at California State University-Fullerton and Montclair State University. During the pandemic, he created ALL DRESSED UP (No Place to Go) for L'arietta Productions in Singapore, a series of nine quarantine-related songs which are now part of SPEED DATING TONIGHT!. In 2018-2019, two new one act operas had their premieres, THRIVERS, at Palm Springs Opera Guild, and EIGHT WOODS AND A VAN, at the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. Additional shorter operas include BIRTHDAY CLOWN at the Savannah Voice Festival, DINNER 4 3 (with librettist Deborah Brevoort) for Fargo Moorhead Opera, and COMPLETING THE PICTURE for Utah Opera’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. As Composer-in-Residence of Savannah Voice Festival, Michael wrote ALICE RYLEY (2015) and ANNA HUNTER (2017) two works with Savannah subjects. The operas premiered together at the 2022 festival. Other works include SLAYING THE DRAGON and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, opera a cappella, recorded on Albany Records. In 2021, Savannah Voice Festival workshopped his CENERENTOLA sequel, A ROYAL FEAST. In 2022, the Towson University will premiere a revised version of his MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. In 2024, his new opera NOTES ON VIARDOT will premiere at University of South Dakota-Vermillion.
Many of these operas have free downloadable perusals scores through Michael's blog. The blog also has links to Michael's art songs and arrangements, including ARRANGEMENTS AND DERANGEMENTS and his work with poet Reg Huston.
Michael works regularly with Amarillo Opera, is Composer-in-Residence at Savannah Voice Festival and Taos Opera Institute, and Opera consultant at EC Schirmer. He is the former Artistic Director of Opera Memphis. In 2019, Michael was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Opera Association. 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.