Hailed recently in the Daily Telegraph as ‘a voice of real distinction’, Nicky Spence is currently an English National Opera Young Artist, having trained at the GSMD and the National Opera Studio.
The winner of the National Bruce Millar Opera Prize last year, Nicky’s diverse repertoire ranges from Handel and Mozart to Donizetti, Britten and Jonathan Dove, having collaborated with the finest orchestras on some of the world’s most major platforms. A proud Concordia Foundation Artist, Britten-Pears Young Artist, Georg Solti and Samling Scholar, his other awards include the Kathleen Ferrier Young Singers Award, the Concordia Barthel Prize, a Sybil Tutton Award, a Young Classical Performer of the Year nomination at the Classical Brit Awards and a place in the final of the Gold Medal at the Guildhall School.
Last year marked Nicky’s debut for some of the UK’s most distinguished opera houses including Opera North, Opera Holland Park, Scottish Opera and English National Opera. His roles include Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress, MacHeath The Beggar’s Opera, Jaquino Fidelio (Opera Holland Park), Lampwick The Adventures of Pinocchio, and Quint The Turn of the Screw (Opera North; Arcola Theatre London), and more recently Baron Lummer Intermezzo (Scottish Opera), which the ‘Independent’ called a ‘stand-out performance’. This was followed by the leading part of Brian in Nico Muhly’s MET commissioned opera Two Boys, which received its world premiere at English National Opera and which gained him uniformly outstanding reviews.
Recent concert performances include a Britten Song-Cycle Series in Aldeburgh and at Kings Place, a lecture-recital at the Howard Assembly Rooms, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with L’Orchestre National d’Ile de France under Gordan Nikolic, a Gala performance at the Royal Festival Hall and Mozart Requiem with the Cambridge Philharmonic. Further recitals are planned at the Leeds and Oxford Lieder Festivals this autumn.
An experienced recording artist, Nicky attracted a long-term recording contract with Universal Classics and increasing recognition on stage, radio and television as a presenter and performer alike having contributed to tours and Platinum Selling disks the world over. He has recently recorded a disk of Britten Songs with Malcolm Martineau (Onyx) for release later in the year and his current release of premiere Hoddinott recordings brought him extensive acclaim. ‘Engaging and shining, both Song-Cycles are given highly nuanced and projected performances by Nicky Spence.’ (GRAMOPHONE DEC 2010)
Adding to his credentials in contemporary repertoire, he will record two works by Mark-Anthony Turnage with Chamber Domaine this autumn, Greek and A Constant Obsession, for Resonus Classics. Both are world premiere recordings.
Future opera plans include the role of Thomas Mason in Jenny McLeod’s opera Hohepa for New Zealand Opera and presented at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, a return to ENO for Novice Billy Budd and his Grange Park Opera debut as Chevalier in Les Dialogues des Carmelites.