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"May you live all the days of your life."
Jonathan Swift

My Story

Michael Payne is a professionally trained bass, currently residing in Los Angeles. He holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Lee University (Cleveland, TN) and an MM in Vocal Performance from Missouri State University (Springfield, MO).


Growing up in small town Tennessee, Michael excelled in his music classes and performed with community theatre. He loved being on stage and presenting a story through art forms such as musical theatre or opera to audiences. This love of performing would lead him to pursue a career in music and music education.


Upon graduating Cum Laude from Lee University in 2014, Michael moved to Springfield, Missouri and began his master’s degree in voice from Missouri State University. Michael performed with the MSU Chorale led by Dr. Cameron LaBarr and completed music tours in South Africa and the western region of the United States. Michael has had the once-in-a-lifetime honor of performing at two separate Presidential Inaugurations through his universities.


Michael made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with Manhattan Opera Studio in 2017 upon his graduation from MSU. He opened his own private voice and piano studio, in addition to teaching applied voice at Drury University (Springfield, MO) for five years. Michael taught K-12th grade music at Chadwick Public Schools for three years which included everything from General Elementary Music, to Middle School Beginning Band, and even High School Music Appreciation.


In regards to opera, Michael has performed with the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts Opera, Lee University Opera, Missouri State University Opera, Manhattan Opera Studio, the inaugural season of Teatro Nuovo (formerly Bel Canto at Caramoor), and has been a regular performer with Ozark Lyric Opera (formerly Springfield Regional Opera). Favorite roles include Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), and Caronte/Plutone (L’Orfeo).


Michael also has a great love for musical theatre, having served the position of Music Director for many different companies across the Ozark region playing keyboard in the pit for shows like Spring Awakening, Head Over Heels, and Mamma Mia! He is hopeful that he can find a musical theatre outlet here in Los Angeles soon!


No stranger to church music, Michael has been an avid performer with various church choirs for over ten years now. His love of choral music dates back to his first brushes of music with the Chattanooga Boys Choir from 1997. Michael has sung with different religions and denominations, and looks forward to finding a home church in Los Angeles.


New to the Los Angeles area, Michael is excited for many new opportunities ahead of him. He has already booked many gigs with companies like Pacific Opera Project and Goode Time Productions. To contact Michael for bookings, please email him directly at


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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