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 2022-23 season, he makes a Dallas Opera debut as Monterone in Rigoletto. Other operatic highlights of the season include a Detroit Opera debut in Handel’s Xerxes in a Tazewell Thompson production led by Dame Jane Glover, Salome at Houston Grand Opera directed by Francisco Negrin and under the baton of Eun Sun Kim, and an engagement with the Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover the role of Peter in Richard Jones’ acclaimed production of Hansel und Gretel conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
Last season Nicholas made a Santa Fe Opera debut as Don Basilio in a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia directed by Stephen Barlow and 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. He created the roles of Daddy/Tim in the Houston Grand Opera world premiere of Joel Thompson and Andrea Davis Pinkney’s The Snowy Day and bowed at the company as Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette conducted by Patrick Summers.
Nicholas completed his training at the Houston Grand Opera Studio in the 2020-21 season and performed Billy King in the world premiere of Damien Sneed’s Marian’s Song and Monterone in Rigoletto. Other notable performances of that season included the roles of Colline in a reduced 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.
"Bass-baritone Nicholas Newton’s rich, hearty voice and sympathetic manner lent Billy a dignity of his own."
Texas Classical Review | Marian's Song
An avid concert performer and recitalist, Nicholas is an alumnus of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and has toured with renowned pianist, Kevin Murphy, and performed at the Tucson Desert Song Festival. He also has worked with the Cincinnati Song Initiative and performed in their virtual recital series: A World of Song, and appeared in Houston Grand Opera’s Giving Voice: Lawrence Brownlee & Friends concert. Other notable concert performances include 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 the world premiere of Michael Capp’s Christmas Revels with Las Colinas Symphony.
Nicholas is passionate about new works and has worked with many living composers, including Terence Blanchard, Michael Capps, Adam Gorb, Nkeiru Okoye, Huang Rao, 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 in-progress 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 trained as a Studio Artist and Filene Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, a Young Artist with Aspen Music Festival, in the Young Artists Vocal Academy of Houston Grand Opera, and in San Diego Opera’s Opera Exposed program. A 2021 Sullivan Award-winner, he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from San Diego State University studying with 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.