English baritone Michael Rayner was born at Etwall in Derbyshire on 6 December 1932. He grew up in Derby, singing as a choirboy at St Werburgh's, and also lived in Derby for most of his life.
After working in the family business and getting married, Rayner decided to concentrate on singing, and studied at the Birmingham School of Music then sang in the Wales National Choir and in Welsh National Opera's 'Opera for All', touring for two years. He then joined the D'Oyly Carte opera company as a principal baritone, singing and recording various Gilbert and Sullivan roles, and touring Italy and the USA.
He left D'Oyly Carte in 1979 and then sang in various opera and oratorio performances, and also worked with several other G&S companies. He sang for many years in Derby Cathedral Choir.
Michael Rayner died in Derby, aged eighty-two, on 13 July 2015.