Michael Leibundgut has established himself as a specialist in contemporary music, especially with the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen: In 2011 he made his debut in Sonntag from Licht at Oper Köln (La Fura dels Baus), in 2012 in Mittwoch at Birmingham Opera (Graham Vick), in 2013 in Samstag with the concert series Musica Viva and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Ingo Metzmacher and in 2016 he added Luzifer in Donnerstag at the Theater Basel. He also sang Havona (14th hour of Klang) at the Musiktriennale Köln and Capricorn (from Sirius) and again Havona at the Gare du Nord in Basel. In 2018 he will reprise Donnerstag at the International Musikfest Hamburg.
In previous seasons Michael Leibundgut was regularly heard at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, most recently as Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Oracle in Idomeneo, in Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 under Lothar Zagrosek and as Father Trulove in The Rake’s Progress. In 2015 he performed in the Swiss premiere of Hölderlin. Eine Expedition by Peter Ruzicka at Theater Basel. Other recent guest appearances were at Festival Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Silvia Colasanti’s La Metamorfosi, at the Lucerne Festival in Georg Friedrich Haas’ Nacht and at the Festival Musica Straßburg in Benedict Mason’s ChaplinOperas with the Ensemble Modern under Franck Ollu.
Further important world premieres of operas were Gregory Vajda’s Zauberberg with the Davos Festival, Aureliano Cattaneo’s La philosophie dans le labyrinthe with the Biennale München and at Vienna’s Museumsquartier (with the ensemble Klangforum Wien), Luca Mosca’s Signor Goldoni at Teatro La Fenice and Wut by Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini at Theater Erfurt. He also covered the role of Herr Winkelmann in the world premiere performance of Georg Friedrich Haas’ Melancholia at the Opéra National de Paris, and performed at Teatro lirico Cagliari, the Festival Aix-en-Provence, the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Opéra de Monte Carlo.
Michael Leibundgut has also interpreted contemporary chamber compositions, most recently triumphing in Edgar Varèse’s Ecuatorial with the Ensemble Musikfabrik (under the auspices of Musikfest Berlin) and in Iannis Xenakis’ Kassandra with Collegium Novum Zürich. His US-debut was in 2014 in Enjott Schneider’s world premiere of Robert Schumanns Traumreise at Symphony Space in New York, where he returned in 2016 with a program of works by Yvonne Troxler, Enjott Schneider and Franz Schubert. He also has presented numerous songs by Wolfgang Rihm and Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini in solo recitals (Theater Basel, Gare du Nord, etc.). His CD of Lieder by 20th Century Swiss composers with pianist Ute Stoecklin (“Hesperos”, Guild Music) was named “CD of the Month” by the British Internet-magazine “MusicWeb”.
Michael Leibundgut studied choral conducting under Hans-Martin Linde at the Music Academy of Basel after completing his Matura. He went on to study voice with Yvonne Prinz (Vienna), Margreet Honig (Amsterdam), Stefan Haselhoff (Basel) and Dennis Heath (Munich). He was a member of the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera, after which he was engaged at the Theater St. Gallen, where he sang numerous roles in the classical repertoire. He participated in master classes and workshops by Samuel Ramey, Peter Konwitschny, Mikael Eliasen, Christa Ludwig and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and worked with conductors such as Emilio Pomarico, Lucas Vis, Andrea Molino, Roberto Abbado, Peter Kuhn, Kenneth Weiss, Hans-Martin Linde and Joachim Krause.