Music at Muhlenberg College
Director of Choral Activities and Voice Area Coordinator
Department of Music
Rehearsal House, Rm. 109
Yale University, B.A. in music, 1989
University of Iowa, M.A. in choral conducting and pedagogy, 2011
Michael Schnack is a conductor, vocal coach, singer, collaborative pianist, composer, teacher, stage director, and producer with over twenty years of international experience in musical theater, opera, operetta, choral and chamber music.
Michael received his B.A. in music from Yale, where he directed the Yale Russian Chorus and music directed Little Shop of Horrors, The Mikado, Really Rosie, and She Loves Me. After studying choral conducting on a Yale fellowship at the Gnesin Institute in Moscow, Michael moved to Vienna where he has served as musical director for productions including A Chorus Line, Ain't Misbehavin', Avenue X, La Cage aux Folles,The Cole Porter Story, Company, The Fantasticks, A Good Man, Grease, High School Musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The King and I, Kiss Me, Kate!, The Last Five Years, Oliver, The Rocky Horror Show, She Loves Me, Sweet Charity, The Telephone, They're Playing Our Song, Tomfoolery, The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore, and Victor/Victoria, as well as numerous revues and industry shows. Michael has led productions in major houses in Vienna (Volksoper, Volkstheater, Kammeroper, Akzent Theater, Stadthalle), Salzburg (Grosses Festspielhaus), Berlin (Neue Oper), Erfurt, Hannover, St. Gallen, Trent, Ljubljana and Rome. He has sung with the Arnold Schoenberg Chor, the Anton Webern Chor of the University of Vienna, the Wiener Singverein, the Wiener Singakademie, and the choirs of St. Augustine (Vienna) and St. Stephen's (Tulln).
Michael's classical vocal and choral compositions have received awards in Austria and the U.S. He has composed and seen produced four full-length musicals (FINIX, Vienna 1070, C'est la vie, and Mozart's Rebirth), written songs for ten cabaret programs for well-known Austrian celebrity Alfons Haider, and composed music for stage plays by Brian Friel (Wonderful Tennessee) and Jura Soyfer (Broadway-Melodie 1492).
From 1994 to 2011, Michael served as artistic director and chief administrator for the Performing Arts Studios Vienna, a successful private training academy for musical theater singers, actors and dancers in the German-speaking realm. Here he taught voice, song interpretation, diction and musical theater history. Michael has also founded his own company, Hear It Here Productions, which has produced critically-acclaimed original works and rarities of musical theater such as Treibgut (Songs of the Danube), Arsin mal alan (Azerbaijani operetta), as well as Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers and innovative vocal/choral programs such as A Jubilant Song (Dello Joio, Ricky Ian Gordon, Robert Ray) and The Best of Everything (Arlen, Porter, Gershwin).
Michael serves as a regular juror for the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition, traveling yearly to Armenia and Georgia and mentoring young opera singers from across the Caucasus.
Michael has completed coursework towards towards a D.M.A. degree in choral conducting at the University of Iowa and is currently writing his dissertation on twentieth-century choral theater.