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Cantor Neil Michaels has been serving as a Cantor of Temple Israel for the past 15 years, where he proudly sits in the Stephen Gottlieb z”l Cantorial Chair.

He was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and comes from an illustrious family of musicians and Cantors including Louis Danto and Edward Fogel of blessed memory. From an early age, Neil exhibited a unique talent and love for theatre and music. He was profoundly affected by the experience he had at Interlochen National Music Camp in Traverse City, where he spent four summers.

Neil is a graduate of both the prestigious Juilliard School and The Curtis Institute of Music. During that time, he was distinguished with top prizes in The Canadian Opera Company, and the George London Foundation competitions. More recently, Neil attended Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion where he received his Cantorial Certification. 

Neil’s first love has always been the theatre and he has performed leading roles in opera and musical theatre in the country’s most recognizable houses including, the Metropolitan Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Santa Fe Opera. 

Abroad, Neil was invited to Manila to sing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni at The Cultural Centre of the Philippines for the center's gala re-opening. Other favorite roles have been Marcello in La Bohème, Phantom, Billy Bigelow in Carousel, the Hajj in Kismet, and Harold Hill in The Music Man. More recently, Neil performed the role of Escamillo (the Torreador) in Arbor Opera Theatre’s production of Carmen to critical acclaim. 

In addition to overseeing its flourishing B’nai Mitzvah program, Neil has produced many concerts that have brought standing-room only crowds to the congregation. Most notably, The Music in Me, a one-man show which traces his journey from the theatre world to the Cantorate. More recently, Neil produced Sing Your Praise, a concert rhapsody detailing his 13 year road to his calling through the myriad expressions of praise.

Neil co-produced and recorded Kavanat Haruach, Temple Israel’s first CD of worship music for Friday nights the music of which has been featured on the Union for Reform Judaism’s CD’s and publications. 

His debut solo recording entitled, Eden Once Again, is available to the public through Temple Israel or can be downloaded on iTunes and CDBaby.

The true star in Neil’s life is his loving wife Stephanie. Possessing a soprano voice of unique beauty, this Michigan native met her Canuck counterpart at Juilliard and have been making music ever since. Their amazing children Elliana and Shane bring inspiration to their music every day.

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784