Michael Joel

Conductor and Musical Director of SMCO

New Zealand-born conductor, Michael Joel studied at Otago University where he completed an Honours degree in conducting. After graduating he studied with conductors Heinz Wallberg, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jac van Steen, and at the Dartington International Summer School.
Equally at home in the orchestral, choral and operatic repertoire, Michael has conducted extensively throughout New Zealand and, since relocating to London in early 2014, at The Royal Opera House, assisting Alexander Joel, Dan Ettinger, Placido Domingo, Oleg Caetani and Marc Minkowski.
In concert he has worked with many international soloists including Mincho Minchev, Diedre Irons, Pascal Rogé, Natalia Lomeiko, Helene Pohl and Andrew Beer. He has conducted many of the established orchestras and companies in New Zealand – Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Sinfonia, St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, Opera Otago, the City of Dunedin Choir, NZSO National Youth Orchestra and, prior to relocating to London, principals and members of the NZSO and NZ String Quartet in a critically acclaimed performance of Mahler’s 4th Symphony.
Michael was Music and Development Officer, Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor at Canterbury Opera. During his tenure he conducted Lakmé , Rusalka, Comte Ory, La traviata and the world premiere of Jonathan Besser’s “work in progress”, commissioned by Canterbury Opera. In August 2006 he conducted a highly successful production of Die Fledermaus for Opera Hawke’s Bay.
Michael is currently Music Director of St Matthews Chamber Orchestra and has recently freelanced with the music staff at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as duty conductor on productions of Carmen, Tosca, La Bohème and La Traviata. He also assisted with the music preparation and children’s chorus for Carmen and La Bohème.
Michael is also an accomplished violist and teacher, currently working and living in New Zealand.