Michael Smallwood commenced vocal training while completing a law degree at the University of Melbourne. After studies at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian National Academy of Music he received a scholarship to study voice at New York's Juilliard School. Whilst pursuing an opera career in New York, he had time to cross over, performing to capacity houses with Friends of Barbra in NYC's legendary Duplex Cabaret Bar, and other venues. He also worked extensively with Lance Horne, Musical Director to the stars, and most recently, Meow Meow's collaborator in crime.

He entered the prestigious Opera Studio of the Hamburg State Opera in 2001, later becoming a member of the ensemble. Resident in Berlin for the last 12
years, he has performed extensively with the Berlin State Opera and Barrie Kosky's Komische Oper. Whilst specialising in opera, his concert and cabaret gigs have sent him from Portugal to Port Fairy, New York to Berlin's Neukoelln.

He has worked in many major houses in Europe and the USA, including The Santa Fe Opera, Opera National de Paris, Glyndebourne, The Flemish Opera (Vlaamse Opera), Opera de Lyon, Opera National de Bordeaux, Opera de Dijon, Chicago Opera Theater, Badisches Staatstheater, Barcelona’s Liceu, the Nederlanse Opera, and Staatsoper Kassel, as well as returning regularly to the Hamburg State Opera. Festival appearances have included: Ravinia, Aspen, Melbourne International Festival, the RuhrTriennale, Lincoln Center Festival and the Haendel Festspiele (Halle and Karlsruhe).


In 2013, he became a member of the ensemble in Essen´s renowned Aalto Theater, focusing on the works of Mozart (Tamino, Ottavio, Ferrando, Belmonte, Arbace), Handel (Lurcanio/Ariodante) and Strauss (Brighella/Airadne, Henry Morosus/Die Schwiegsame Frau).

In recent years Michael has been heard in concerts in Australia, France and Germany. With the Melbourne Art Song Collective, he has performed for the last 6 years to full houses in the Melbourne Recital Centre's "Local Heroes" series.

His DVDs include Robert Carsen’s Capriccio with Renee Fleming at the Opera National de Paris, Die Entführung aus dem Serail from the Netherlands Opera, Willy Decker’s Moses und Aron from the RuhrTriennale, the title role Don Ottavio in Jean-Yves Ruf’s production of Don Giovanni from the Opéra de Dijon, and the award-winning DVD of David Poutney’s production of Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten also from the RuhrTriennale.  In July 2009, the world premiere recording of Bruch’s Arminius conducted by Hermann Max with the Göttingen Symphony was released by the CPO label.

In 2011 followed a live recording of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the 2006 Glyndebourne Festival, and Parsifal and Die Meistersinger from the Runfunk-Sinfonie Orchester Berlin with Marek Janowski.

…Smallwood is a vocal discovery.” 

“Michael Smallwood dazzled with his easy tenor.”