Hailed for his “polished vocal technique” and “heart-tugging emotional communication” (San Diego Story), Nicholas Newton is garnering due attention as an up-and-coming bass-baritone in the classical music world. During the 2021-22 season he was a Sullivan Award winner, appeared at Houston Grand Opera in the roles of Daddy/Tim in the world premiere of Joel Thompson and Andrea Davis Pinkney’s The Snowy Day and as Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover the role of Garibaldo in a revival of the company’s lauded Stephen Wadsworth production of Rodelinda conducted by Harry Bicket, and makes a Santa Fe Opera debut as Basilio in a new production by Stephen Barlow of Il barbiere di Siviglia led by Iván López-Reynoso. He was also a featured soloist with The Dallas Opera for the Hart Institute for Women Conductors Showcase Concert and made his debut with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah.
In the 2020-2021 season, Nicholas completed his final year in the Houston Grand Opera Studio where he has sung roles such as Billy King in the world premiere of Damien Sneed’s Marian's Song and Monterone in Rigoletto. Other notable performances include the role of Colline in a reduced (due to COVID-19) production of La bohème and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd with Wolf Trap Opera, Monterone in Rigoletto with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and both Olin Blitch in Susannah and Achilla in Giulio Cesare at Rice University.
An avid concert performer and recitalist, Nicholas is an alumnus of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and subsequently toured with renowned pianist, Kevin Murphy, and performed in the Tucson Desert Song Festival. He has also worked with the Cincinnati Song Initiative and performed in their virtual recital series, A World of Song, and performed in Houston Grand Opera’s Giving Voice: Lawrence Brownlee & Friends concert. Other notable concert performances include solos in Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Fauré’s Requiem, Stephen Paulus' To Be Certain of the Dawn, Gershwin’s Catfish Row with San Diego Winds, Duruflé’s Requiem with San Diego Master Chorale, and most recently, the world premiere of Michael Capp’s Christmas Revels with Las Colinas Symphony.
"Bass-baritone Nicholas Newton’s rich, hearty voice and sympathetic manner lent Billy a dignity of his own."
Texas Classical Review | Marian's Song
Nicholas is passionate about new works and has worked with many living composers, including Terence Blanchard, Michael Capps, Adam Gorb, Nkeiru Okoye, Damien Sneed, Joel Thompson, and Richard Thompson. In addition to working with composers in performance, he continues to work with them through the field of research as an affiliate with the Black Opera Research Network. He is also a co-founder of the Black Opera Database, a resource created to archive,
celebrate, and preserve the vocal compositional output of Black composers and works that chronicle the Black experience.
Nicholas has trained as a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, a Young Artist with Aspen Music Festival, in HGO’s Young Artists Vocal Academy, and in San Diego Opera’s Opera Exposed program. Nicholas earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from San Diego State University under the tutelage of Laurinda Nikkel and his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Rice University under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen King. Nicholas was raised in a musical household and had a background in gospel, jazz, and musical theater before studying classical music.