AZO Cast Members & Creatives
A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, accomplished young bass Nicholas Masters was the First Prize and Audience Choice winner in the 2013 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Recently with Houston Grand Opera, Masters performed Colline in La bohème, both at the Wortham Center and the Miller Outdoor Theater as well as the Old Gypsy in Il trovatore. He was a National Grand Finalist in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, second prize winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, and finalist and recipient of encouragement awards from the 2011 Opera Index, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and George London Foundation Awards.
Previous appearances in Houston include Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Dottore Grenvil in La traviata, as well as two unexpected performances of The Spirit of Charles V in Don Carlos when he filled in at the last moment for an indisposed colleague. Mr. Masters also has been seen as Robert in Les vêpres Siciliennes with the Caramoor Festival and Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Opera Theater of Connecticut. Engagements for the 2013-2014 season included Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Opera Philadelphia, his debut with English National Opera as Parsi Rustomji/Lord Krishna in Satyagraha, 5th Jew in Salome with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Castleton Festival. The 2014-2015 season includes his return to English National Opera for Ashby in Girl of the Golden West and singing the roles of Gremin in Eugene Onegin and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with Arizona Opera.
A graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Nicholas created the role of the Governor in the world premiere of Margaret Garwood’s The Scarlet Letter, and performed Leporello and Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, as well as Count Waldner in Richard Strauss’ Arabella. Other appearances at AVA include Colline in La bohème, La Roche in Capriccio, Pistola in Falstaff, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lord Rochefort in Anna Bolena, and Oroveso in excerpts of Norma. Nicholas has also appeared with the Caramoor Festival where he sang Bill Bobstay in HMS Pinafore and Walter in Guillaume Tell.
During his two consecutive seasons as a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap he was featured as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a role previously performed at the Banff Centre in Canada), Tempo and Nettuno in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Benoit and Alcindoro in La bohème, and in a recital entitled Latin Days, American Nights with Steven Blier. Nicholas was also guest artist on the Wolf Trap Foundation’s Discovery Series, where he performed Luciano in John Musto’s Bastianello and Chucho in William Bolcom’s Lucrezia. He is a two-time recipient of a Career Development Grant from the Shouse Education Fund from the Wolf Trap Foundation.
While pursuing his Master’s degree in the opera program at Yale University, he sang a variety of repertoire, including Baron Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle, Don Inigo Gomez in L’heure espagnole, Frank in Die Fledermaus, and Luka in The Bear. As a member of the Young American Artist Program at Glimmerglass Opera, he covered the role of Le Comte de Breville in the world premiere of The Greater Good by Stephen Hartke. With the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Nicholas sang both Rambaldo in Puccini’s La rondine, and Drebednyov in Shostakovich’s Moskva Cheremushki.
Nicholas has appeared at the Alba Music Festival, Italy as the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, a piece he had previously performed at St. Mary’s College in Maryland. He was also featured as bass soloist in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Greenwich Choral Society. Of mixed French and British heritage Nicholas holds dual American and French (European Union) citizenship. Nicholas lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Colleen.