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Michael comes from a musical family. His mother is a piano teacher and chorister, his father an amateur musician, and his sister, Laura, a graduate of the San Francisco Girls Chorus. He started singing -- on pitch -- when he was a toddler. But it wasn't until age six, when he stumbled on the All-American Boys Chorus performing in a local shopping mall on their way to Canada, that Michael told his parents -- in no uncertain terms -- "I want to do that". He immediately joined the San Francisco Boys Chorus. It was through the chorus that Michael was asked - at age nine -- to audition for the part of John, Peter Grime's apprentice, in the San Francisco Opera production of "Peter Grimes". It was a very intense acting challenge for him, spending much stage time cowering and being abused by Peter, and then finally falling off a cliff to his death. He loved that part the most. It was in this opera that Michael discovered that he loved to act and that he wanted to be an opera singer when he grew up.