Baritone Nicholas Ward has been hailed as a performer of “engaging, commanding ease” and “noteworthy drama,” (annarbor.com). The young performer is quickly becoming known for his versatility, swift comic timing, and his warm and expressive voice. His 2016 summer season includes performances with the Thompson Street Opera Company in Louisville, KY and Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis, MO. At TSOC, He will premiere the role of professional wrestler Bob Noxious in The Final Battle for Love by Philip Thompson, and sing the roles of Charlie and President Nixon in Chappell Kingsland’s Intoxication: America’s Love Affair With Oil. He will debut with UAO as Pish-Tush in an updated production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado.
Nicholas made his debut with Florida Grand Opera as a member of their prestigious Young Artist Program in the 2015-16 season. He appeared on the main stage as Fiorello in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and covered the roles of Figaro in Barbiere and Tadeusz in Weinberg’s resurrected masterpiece The Passenger. In addition, he appeared as Dr. Malatesta in outreach performances of Don Pasquale as well as concert performances with his fellow young artists in multiple South Florida venues.
In the summer of 2015, he returned as an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, performing the roles of The Elder Son in Benjamin Britten’s The Prodigal Son and the Marquis in Verdi’s La Traviata. Previously with Central City, he has had the pleasure of building his repertoire of American and contemporary opera, including roles and covers in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, and Rorem’s Our Town. He has also participated in the programs of Toledo Opera, Opera Saratoga and the Seagle Music Colony.
Musical theater and operetta are a significant part of his budding career. He has been seen in entertaining roles such as The Major General in The Pirates of Penzance, Ko-Ko in The Mikado, The Usher in Trial By Jury, The Backwoodsman in Show Boat, Mr. Jones in Street Scene, Max Detweiler (cover) in The Sound of Music and Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! Operatic highlights include Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Alfonso in Così Fan Tutte, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women.
A passionate supporter of education and outreach, Nicholas has been working to bring opera to people young and old outside of the opera house. He has toured across the Midwest to bring opera to elementary schools with companies such as Opera for the Young, Toledo Opera and Cincinnati Opera. He has also performed with Opera on Tap, bringing operatic shenanigans to fun-loving audiences in multiple cities.
Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has been distinguished as an award winner from the Opera Guild of Dayton, FAVA’s Grand Concours de Chant, Central City Opera (Outstanding Apprentice and Garwood Memorial Awards), and the Ohio and Wisconsin Districts of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He grew up in Pontiac, Michigan, where he fell in love with music at a young age.