Michael L. Allain was born and raised in Chicago, where he graduated with a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University. He completed graduate studies at The Ohio State University in History and received the Ph.D. in Classics. He has taught at James Madison University since 1984, and from 1995 he taught Latin at Spotswood High School until he retired in 2006. He has continued to teach general surveys of Greek and Roman civilization through the History Department at JMU. Although officially retired, he still considers himself an active classicist.

Michael claims no special talent in music, simply a deep love for its amazing ability to express ideas and emotions through extraordinary sound. He also has tremendous admiration for the musicians who are able to bring that sound to life. One of the special pleasures he has found in retirement is extra time to explore opera, a genre of music he has found particularly fascinating.