Originally trained as a biochemist, Michael Oliva is now a composer, with a fondness for writing operas and music for electronics and woodwind.
He is composer in residence with the contemporary music ensemble rarescale, and also performs regularly with them in the UK and the United States. In addition he runs madestrange opera, a company dedicated to producing new forms of the genre for modern audiences. With madestrange he has premiered his multimedia operas Black & Blue at BAC in 2004 and Midsummer in 2005, The Girl Who Liked to be Thrown Around, presented as a work in progress in Scotland in 2006 and in full production at the Tete a Tete Opera Festival, London in 2007, and the Grimeborn Opera Festival 2008. He is currently working on a new large scale work for St. Alban's based choir Mosaic, and a new full length opera.
As well as over 40 theatre scores, works include Xas-Orion for oboe/cor and electronics, Into the Light for oboe/cor and piano (both recorded by Paul Goodey on his CD 'New Ground'),Torso for wind orchestra, Cyclone for wind quintet with piano, a piece for large ensemble and electronics The Speed of Metals, Night Crossing for wind trio with computer and Apparition and Release for quartertone alto flute and electronics.
Michael also teaches composition with electronics at the Royal College of Music, where he is 'Area Leader for Electroacoustic Music', and organises the termly "From the Soundhouse" series of concerts of electronic music. He has also lectured regularly in music technology at Imperial College, London and researches and publishes on the use of interactive video systems in opera.