Bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee has been described as “charismatic and charming” (New York Times) with a “commanding presence” and “rich tone” (Musical America). He is a first prize winner of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, winner of the Zarzuela prize at Operalia, and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions grand prize winner.
Nicholas will join the ensemble at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe where he will be heard as Enrico in Anna Bolena, Melisso in Alcina, and as Frère Laurent in Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette in his first season. A former Domingo-Colburn-SteinYoung Artist at Los Angeles Opera, he returns as Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles conducted by Plácido Domingo and debuts with the Israeli Opera as Colline in La bohème. He also debuts with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in Dvorák’s Te Deum conducted by Andres Orozco-Estrada and with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem conducted by Kent Nagano.
Recently, Mr. Brownlee made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the First Soldier in Salome conducted by Johannes Debus and returned to Los Angeles Opera for productions of Tosca, Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Salome. He debuted at Teatro de São Carlos in Lisbon as Escamillo in Calixto Bieto’s production of Carmen and sang Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Other recent role debuts at Los Angeles Opera include Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Captain Gardiner in Moby-Dick, all conducted by James Conlon. He also sang Colline in La bohème conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at LA Opera, as well as debuted at Atlanta Opera in the same role. With the LA Philharmonic, he was seen as the Doctor in Pelléas et Melisande with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting.
Mr. Brownlee made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut under Gustavo Dudamel in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and returned for performances of a new multimedia staging by Netia Jones of Chin’s Alice in Wonderland under Susanna Mälkki, which traveled to the Barbican in London with the BBC Symphony. As part of the LA Opera Young Artist Program, he covered Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro under James Conlon and Bluebeard in Barrie Kosky’s production of Bluebeard’s Castle. In the summer of 2015, he returned to Santa Fe Opera to sing the 1st Soldier in Salome, as well as cover Monterone in Rigoletto, Sulpice in La fille du régiment, and Stobrod/Blind in the world premiere of Cold Mountain. Mr. Brownlee spent the summer of 2014 as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera, where he made his debut as Don Fernando in a new Stephen Wadsworth production of Fidelio under the baton of Harry Bicket.
Mr. Brownlee studied Rice University under Stephen King Dr. Stephen King. He was part of the inaugural Young Artist Vocal Academy with Houston Grand Opera, apprentice artist with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and winner of the 2014 Palm Springs Vocal Competition. He was awarded the 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant and 2017 Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.