American bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee was the first prize winner of the 2016 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as well as the 2016 Zarzuela prize winner at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, and 2017 Richard Tucker Career grant award recipient. He is a recent graduate of Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.
In the 2017 – 2018 season, Nicholas Brownlee will join the Ensemble of Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe singing leading roles of his repertoire including Enrico in Anna Bolena, Melisso in Alcina, and Kaspar in Der Freischütz, as well as return to LA Opera for Nourabad in Les Pecheurs de perles conducted by Plácido Domingo. This season also sees Mr. Brownlee’s Houston Symphony debut in Dvorák’s Te Deum conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Colline in La Bohème with Israeli Opera. He will also be making his debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in Verdi’s Requiem conducted by Kent Nagano.
He began the 2016-17 season with his European debut at Teatro de São Carlos in Lisbon as Escamillo in Calixto Bieto’s production of Carmen, immediately followed by his Metropolitan Opera debut as the First Soldier in Salome conducted by Johannes Debus. Mr. Brownlee then returned to LA Opera for productions of Salome (1st Soldier), Les contes d’hoffmann (Crespel), and Tosca (Angelotti) and sang Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Recent role debuts at Los Angeles Opera include Sprecher in Die Zauberöte, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Captain Gardiner in Moby-Dick, all conducted by James Conlon in the 2015-2016 season. 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.
Recently, 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 was a first place winner of the 2014 Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition and a 2016 Sara Tucker grant recipient. He was an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe opera in the 2014-2015 seasons and a studio artist at Wolf Trap opera in 2013. He was part of the inaugural Young Artists Vocal Academy at Houston Grand Opera in 2011. He studied at Rice University (M.M.) and the University of South Alabama (B.M.).