Nicole Heaston

Biography

Born: 1971; Chicago, IL  
In the last half of the 1990s, American soprano Nicole Heaston rapidly emerged as one of the most engaging and promising new stars in the operatic world.

She was brought up in Chicago, in a musical family. Her mother was a trained concert pianist who worked as a school music teacher, while Heaston's father went to law school. While Heaston showed musical awareness and singing talent, she did not have a strong interest in opera singing;
Read more her favorite acts as a teenager were Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind & Fire. But, as a teenager, she won an NAACP music competition, and decided to try classical music.

At that point, she had a career-shaping encounter with a visiting group of singers from the University of Akron (Ohio), who visited Heaston's high school in Chicago with their director, Edward Maclary. He listened to some of the students at the high school sing and invited Heaston to come to Akron to audition. "First, I was like, you know, I've never heard of Akron!" Heaston has said. But, not only did she impress the voice faculty there, she found that she liked the personality and teaching style of Dr. Mary Schiller and decided to attend the college.

Dr. Schiller, for her part, says Heaston was "one of the three most promising students" that she found in 29 years of voice teaching. Heaston won a Tuesday Musical Club Scholarship, and after graduating, went on to take a graduate degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She was then invited to join the Houston Opera Studio, the apprenticeship program of Houston Grand Opera. Her success there led to her debut there as Juliette in Gounod's opera. She also sang Pamina and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro.

The 1996 - 1997 season was a wonder year for Heaston. She sang in Handel's Messiah with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI, under conductor Marc Minkowski, who cast her as soprano soloist and on-screen, in a film based on the famous oratorio. Minkowski also quickly engaged her to sing in Gluck's Armide and Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, in performances in France and on CD on the prestigious Archiv label. In the same year, Houston gave her a plum assignment: the world premiere of the new opera Jackie O by Michael Daugherty, in which she portrayed former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a performance that was recorded the same year on Decca's Argo label. Also in 1997, she made her European operatic stage debut, as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress in Montpellier, France.

She has gone on to win several major awards and to sing in leading international opera houses, including San Francisco, Dallas, the Flanders Opera, the Washington Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. Some of her roles include: Saint Settlement in Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts, Drusilla in Incoronazione di Poppea, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Adina in L'Elisir d'amore.

In 2000, she won the ARIA (Awards Recognizing Individual Artistry) grant. This is one of the most prestigious awards in American music, as one does not compete for it: The 15,000 dollar prize is a surprise grant given to one of a list of the most promising new singers, nominated by conductors, directors, established singers, and others. She has also won two Richard Tucker Awards (the Jacobson Study Grand and a Career Grant) and several other major honors. She was scheduled to appear on a March 28, 2001, national broadcast of the New York City Opera production of La Bohème. Read less

There are 9 Nicole Heaston recordings available.

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Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: 1971; Chicago, IL  
In the last half of the 1990s, American soprano Nicole Heaston rapidly emerged as one of the most engaging and promising new stars in the operatic world.

She was brought up in Chicago, in a musical family. Her mother was a trained concert pianist who worked as a school music teacher, while Heaston's father went to law school. While Heaston showed musical awareness and singing talent, she did not have a strong interest in opera singing;
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Symphony
1. Accompagnato: Comfort ye, My people
2. Air: Ev'ry Valley shall be exalted
3. Chorus: And the glory of the Lord
4. Accompagnato: Thus saith the Lord
5. Air: "But who may abide the day of his coming"
6. Chorus: And He shall purify the sons of Levi
7. Recitative: Behold, a virgin shall conceive
8. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
9. Chorus: O thou that tellest good tidings
10. Accompagnato: For behold, darkness shall cover
11. Air: The people that walked in darkness
12. Chorus: "For Unto Us A Child Is Born"
13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
14. Recitative: There were shepherds - Accompagnato: And lo, the angel of the Lord - Recitative: And the angel said unto them - Accompagnato: And suddenly
15. Chorus: Glory to God in the highest
16. Air: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion
17a. Recitative: Then shall the eyes of the blind
18a. Duet: He Shall Feed His Flock
19. His yoke is easy
20. Behold the Lamb of God
21. Air: He was despised
22-24. Chorus: Surely He hath borne - And with His stripes - All we like sheep
25. Accompagnato: All they that see Him
26. Chorus: He trusted in God
27. Accompagnato: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
28. Arioso: Behold and see
29. Accompagnato: He was cut off
30. Aria: But thou didst not leave
31. Chorus: Lift up your heads
36. Air: How beautiful are the feet
38. Air: Why do the nations
39. Chorus: Let us break their bonds asunder
40. Recitativo: He that dwelleth - 41. Air: Thou shalt break them
42. Chorus: "Hallelujah"
43. Air: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
44. Chorus: Since by man came death
45. Accompagnato: Behold, I tell you a mystery
46. Air: The trumpet shall sound
47. Recitative: Then shall be brought to pass / 48. Duet: O death where is thy sting?
49. Chorus: But thanks be to God
50. Air: If God be for us
51. Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb... Amen
Overture
2. "Dans un jour de triomphe"
3. "Je ne triomphe pas"
4. "Qu'importe qu'un captif manque"
5. "Les enfers ont prédit cent fois/Un songe affreux"
6. "Vous troublez-vous d'une image légère"


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