Baritone Nicholas Ward has been hailed as a performer of “effortless voice and agile presence” (Houston Press). The young performer is quickly becoming known for his versatility, swift comic timing, and his warm and expressive voice.
Upcoming engagements include the Regular Chorus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Birmingham’s “Catch a Rising Star” recital, and the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra.
Last season, he made his Chicago Opera Theater debut by stepping in as a cover for the role of Mr. Stubb in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick. He was also seen as Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri with Winter Opera St. Louis, Schaunard in La Bohème with Union Avenue Opera, and Charles Knight in Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt with Lyric Unlimited. He also joined the roster of the New York City Ballet for the Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer.
In the summer of 2018, he made an exciting role debut as Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with the Crested Butte Music Festival. Also with Crested Butte, he appeared in their Bernstein Celebration Concert with the CBMF Symphony Orchestra, as well as an all-Gershwin cabaret. Earlier last season, he sang the role of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Houston’s Opera in the Heights, and Le Mari in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias with Opera MODO in Detroit. He also joined Opera Fayetteville for their Opera in Bloom Festival, where he performed in a series of short operas by composers such as Oliver Caplan, Tom Cipullo, Ronnie Reshef, and Tony Solitro.
In 2017, he joined the Crested Butte Music Festival in multiple performances. He was featured in a double bill of Gianni Schicchi as Marco, and as Duke Cacatois XXII in Offenbach’s L’Ile de Tulipatan. He also appeared in the annual Cabaret and song recital. He then traveled to Montréal, Québéc, where he joined the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute. He reprised his role as Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and also sang the role of Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium.
Nicholas made his debut with Florida Grand Opera as a member of their prestigious Young Artist Program, where he was in residence for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. He appeared in roles such as Moralès in Carmen, Cristiano in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In addition, he covered the roles of Le Dancaïro in Carmen, Figaro in Barbiere, and Tadeusz in Weinberg’s resurrected masterpiece The Passenger. He also participated in FGO’s recital series, SongFest Miami, in which he sang a variety of repertoire ranging from Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death to Gabriel Kahane’s Craigslistlieder.
His 2016 summer season included performances with the Thompson Street Opera Company in Louisville, KY and Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis, MO. At TSOC, He premiered the role of professional wrestler Bob Noxious in The Final Battle for Love by Philip Thompson, and sang the roles of Charlie and President Nixon in Chappell Kingsland’s Intoxication: America’s Love Affair With Oil. He debuted with UAO as Pish-Tush in an updated production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado.
He is a three-time alumnus of Central City Opera’s Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist Program. Highlights of his performances in Central City include The Elder Son in Benjamin Britten’s The Prodigal Son, Marquis D’Obigny in La Traviata, the trio baritone in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, and a recital in the Teller House recital series. He has also participated in the young artist programs of Toledo Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Seagle Music Colony.
Musical theater and operetta are also a significant part of his 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!
Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is a three-time District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was named the 1st Place winner of the Opera Birmingham Competition. He has also been distinguished as an award winner from the Opera Guild of Dayton, FAVA’s Grand Concours de Chant, Central City Opera, and as a finalist in the Luminarts Competition. He grew up in Pontiac, Michigan, and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.