Tenor Michael Papincak, is a native of Pittsburgh, PA currently living in New York City pursuing his opera career under the vocal direction of David L. Jones. Michael was most recently seen as a participant in the 2015 Merola Opera Program in scenes from La Traviata as Alfredo, Die Walküre as Siegmund, Moby-Dick as Captain Ahab, and Il trovatore as Manrico. He also participated in masterclasses with Jane Eaglen and Sheri Greenawald. Other recent opera credits include Don José in Carmen (NYC debut), Inkeeper/Hedgehog in The Cunning Little Vixen, Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera, Male Chorus (cover) in The Rape of Lucretia, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Secondo Soldato/Liberto/Tribuni in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Toby Higgins in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny. Recent opera scene credits include Idomeneo in Idomeneo, Dr. Caius in Falstaff, Cook in Wonderglass, Gay Lover in Love/Hate, Jimmy in Later the Same Evening and Faust in Faust. Recent musical theater credits include Giuseppe in Coming to America (a review of Irving Berlin music) and Tony in Bernstein’s New York (a review of Leonard Bernstein music). Michael also studies voice over with Marla Kirban. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Lawrence University and a Masters of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music.


Michael was honored to be a participant in the 2015 Merola Opera Program. While at Merola Michael performed in the Schwabacher Summer Conert as Alfredo in Act II, Scene I of La Traviata and as Siegmund in Act II, Scene IV of Die Walküre. Michael had the pleasure of working with director Roy Rallo and Maestro Valery Ryvkin on this concert. The role of Siegmund was primarily coached by Alan Darling and Jane Eaglen with language instruction by Crystal Ockenfuss. The role of Alfredo was coached by Mark Morash and Sheri Greenawald with language instruction by Alessandra Cattani.

Michael participated in two masterclasses while at Merola. The first was with Jane Eeaglen where he sang “Durch die Wälder” from Der Freischütz. The second was with Sheri Greenawald where he sang “Lunge da lei…Dei miei bollenti spiriti” from La traviata.

In the Merola Grand Finale Michael performed two scenes from Jake Heggie’s opera Moby-Dick, arias “Ah, Starbuck” (Captain Ahab) and “Captain Ahab” (Starbuck). He also performed as Manrico in Azucena’s Condotta scene from Verdi’s Il trovatore. Michael also joined his fellow Merolini in the chorus in scenes from The Merry Wives of Windsor, La sonnambula, and The Tales of Hoffman. The Merola Grand Finale was directed by Merola Participant Mo Zhou and conducted by Maestro Antony Walker. Michael had the pleasure to coach the Moby-Dick scenes with the composer himself, Jake Heggie.

While at Merola Michael worked with many amazing coaches that included Alan Darling, Mark Morash, Malcolm Martineau, Steven Blier, Kevin Murphy, John Parr, Martin Katz, and Peter Grunberg. He was also able to work with professional singers Ann Murray, Jane Eaglen, James Morris, Sheri Greenawald and master teacher Cesar Ullou. He was able to work on language and diction with coaches Alessandra Cattani (Italian), Patricia Kristof Moy (French), and Crystal Ockenfuss (German). 

Papincak seems suited for the role of Ahab, which makes him quite a rarity, given that so few people have this vocal type.
— The Opera Tattler



In 2014, Michael received his Masters in Music degree in Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music.  As a member of Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Studio, Summer Voice Festival and Neil Rosenshein’s Studio Project, Michael gained experience performing many roles.  He performed as Toby Higgins in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Tony in Bernstein’s New York (Leonard Bernstein review), Secondo Soldato/Liberto/Tribuni in L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay. 

During his studies Michael was also involved in Kenneth Merrill’s Voice Seminar where he covered the role of The Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.  In the Contemporary Opera Ensemble, he performed the aria ‘The damned do not cry’ from Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra and in scenes from Wonderglass as the Cook, Love/Hate as the Gay Lover, and Later the Same Evening as Jimmy. 

Michael’s Masters Recital repertoire included songs and arias by Giordani, Bellini, Handel, Haydn, Vaughan Williams, Duparc, R. Strauss, and Sondheim.

In 2013, Michael was invited to the Siena Music Festival where he performed the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and worked with soprano legend Renata Scotto in her Masterclass.


Before Manhattan School of Music, Michael received a Bachelors of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University where he studied with Dr. Karen Leigh-Post.  It was at Lawrence where Michael performed in his first opera, Les mamelles de Tirésias as a member of the chorus.  Michael then went on to perform Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi.  In Lawrence’s scenes program he performed as The Mayor in Albert Herring, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Joe the Loiterer in The Mother of Us All, Jim Mahoney in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Remendado in Carmen and Faust in Faust. 

At Lawrence, Michael was also involved in musical theater and performed as a member of the chorus in Little Shop of Horrors and played Fakir in The Secret Garden.

After graduating from Lawrence University, Michael returned to Pittsburgh where he studied with tenor Douglas Ahlstedt.  It was also during this time that Michael worked as a Marketing and Development intern with the Pittsburgh Opera.  He found this experience crucial because it gave him insight into the administrative and business side of opera and the arts.  Knowing though that his passion was for performing, Michael started the process of applying to graduate schools for voice performance.


Michael Papincak was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  At the age of 7, he began taking voice lessons as a boy soprano with Paul Cramer of Uniontown, Pennsylvania.  Michael’s lesson took place in a church and his fondest memories of these lessons are of holding a bible or hymnal to his lower abdomen to build breath support.

Singing mostly in churches and for Boy Scouts of America functions as a child, Michael continued to sing and perform through high school. In high school, Michael either starred in or was featured in the musical productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Kiss Me, Kate, Babes in Arms, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for which he performed the role of Pseudolus.

It was also in high school that Michael’s operatic vocal abilities were discovered by his choir director, Dr. Daniel Brill, while singing a choral medley from West Side Story.  Michael recalls singing the words “Tonight, tonight…” and wondering where this new and interesting voice came from. Encouraged by his choir director, Michael sought operatic training from then Pittsburgh based voice teacher Victoria Cole.  Ms. Cole’s guidance led Michael to start his collegiate training at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.