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"One of the most beautiful young lyric voices around"

- opera news

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NICK MAKES HIS role debut as the title role in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with Esa-pekka salonen and Philharmonia Orchestra

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"...In his best work, Salonen has always proved adept at blending structural precision with a kind of stealthy emotional luxuriance. He did it again on Sunday in Zellerbach Hall, leading his orchestra, the robust Lund Male Chorus and a small cast of superb vocal soloists through the stately but poignant tale of Oedipus’ downfall...Tenor Nicholas Phan threw himself into the title role with a valiant blend of elegance and almost heedless fervor..."

THE MERCURY NEWS

"...Tenor Nicholas Phan brought elegant tone and expressive phrasing to the title role..."

photo: San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate

photo: San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

"...With his Italian-sounding Latin pronunciation and the bel canto coloratura Stravinsky wrote into the part, Nicholas Phan’s Oedipus called to mind the tragic heroes of Bellini and Donizetti. His powerful, piercing tenor was ideal for the prideful monarch — Phan even incorporated some genuine shouting as the paranoid Oedipus accuses Creon of plotting against him. Elsewhere, the tenor made use of his lovely, floating head-voice in order to imbue his seemingly confident character with a certain vulnerability..."

THE DAILY CALIFORNIAN

"Nicholas Phan as Oedipus delivered a performance both convincing and moving, his smooth vocals tackling a difficult range of notes with fluidity and emotion.."

NICK's role debut as tamino in mozart's Magic FLute with boston baroque now streaming on 99.5 WCRB boston

Photo: Kathy Wittman

Photo: Kathy Wittman

Hear one of the highlights of  the concert season on-demand, as Martin Pearlman leads a stellar cast in one of Mozart's most effervescent operas, on WCRB In Concert.

 In 1989, 16 years after its founding, Boston Baroque and music director Martin Pearlman made history when they presented the first all period-instrument production of Mozart's The Magic Flute here in the United StatesNearly 30 years later in April of this year, Pearlman returned to this marvelous work with another shimmering historically-informed performance.  Recorded on April 16, 2016, at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall.

Hear the program on-demand by clicking HERE

NICK SERVES AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF FIFTH ANNUAL COLLABORATIVE WORKS FESTIVAL

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"The Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago is devoting its fifth annual Collaborative Works Festival to exploring Verlaine's influence on French music, with two salon concerts devoted to melodies set to his poetry and texts by other Symbolist poets. The first of these concerts, Wednesday night at the Poetry Foundation, was devoted to Debussy songs, beautifully presented by tenor Nicholas Phan, CAIC's artistic director; soprano Sarah Shafer; and mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, with pianists Matthew Gemmill and Scott Allen Jarrett.

As a means of furthering CAIC's mission to increase the performance and appreciation of the art song repertory locally, Wednesday's Debussy concert was a treasurable addition to the series, bringing to light exquisite vocal miniatures that seldom surface in recital, in an appropriately intimate, salon-style venue...

In his helpful spoken remarks, Phan pointed out Chicago's indirect connection with the "Ariettes oubliees": Debussy dedicated the revised version of the cycle (1903) to the great Scottish soprano Mary Garden, the original Melisande in his opera "Pelleas et Melisande," who later became director of the Chicago Civic Opera, an early-20th-century precursor of Lyric Opera.

Phan, sensitively accompanied by Jarrett, caught the shifting emotions of the six "Ariettes" with an abundance of feeling for words and music, precise French diction and a particularly expressive use of head voice...the tenor was at his best when floating soft, lyrical lines that confided in the listener; one will not soon forget the rapt inwardness of his "L'ombre des arbres." His storytelling skills came to the fore in the excited rush of "Chevaux de bois," a joyous depiction of a fairground carousel that turns into a lullaby. There wasn't a note or syllable out of place here, and Jarrett got the ethereal accompaniment just right."

 

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Photo: Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW

"The Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago opened this fall’s festival of song on Wednesday evening in the intimate space of the Poetry Foundation. The theme for this year’s Collaborative Arts Festival, “La Bonne Chanson,” highlights the French poet Paul Verlaine and those he influenced. The focus for this concert was on songs of Claude Debussy...As festival founder Nicholas Phan wrote in the program notes, Verlaine’s style tended toward vagueness of phrase and subtle metaphors full of nuance. Phan and his colleagues delivered these atmospheric songs with compelling advocacy...Tenor Nicholas Phan took center stage for Ariettes oubliées, in which he used the room’s acoustics to his benefit. Both Phan’s dynamics and manner were one with the music in every vignette, revealing many guises of affection and anguish.

In the sensual C’est l’extase langoureuse (It is the languorous ecstasy), Phan’s shimmering voice aptly portrayed two lovers entwined with both themselves and nature. With candid and frisky flair he ended the toccata-like Chevaux de bois (Wooden horses) on a strong note, notwithstanding its slightly uneven beginning. The flexible tenor brought color and shade together in Spleen, named for the human organ once thought to be the origin of ill temper, and navigated the shifts in tempo, painting the two-faced nature of a lover in ennui..."

MAJOR MILESTONES AHEAD FOR TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN in 2016-2017 SEASON

21C MEDIA GROUP

"Praised by Opera News as 'one of the most beautiful young lyric voices around' and 'a singer who communicates with the immediacy of a contemporary singer-songwriter,' Nicholas Phan launches his 2016-17 season  curating and singing at the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s fifth annual Collaborative Works Festival , of which he is Artistic Director. The 2016 Festival will focus on the influence of Paul Verlaine’s poetry on the realm of French mélodie and will feature performances by Phan and colleagues, including 2016 Beverly Sills Award winning soprano Ailyn Pérez, throughout Chicago from September 7-10. Among several important milestones for Phan this season is his debut in February at London’s famed Wigmore Hall, where he and his long-time recital partner, pianist Myra Huang, will present the program of his next solo album, Gods & Monsters, featuring German lieder inspired by fairy tales. In September, he will make his debut in Asia performing and recording Bach Cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan in Kobe and Tokyo, returning to Tokyo in December to sing Handel’s Messiah with the same forces. Throughout the season he will give concerts with leading orchestras and conductors across America, including two programs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first of which will be with the orchestra’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin; his title role debut in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and Esa-Pekka Salonen... "  (read more)

NICK'S RECORDING OF SCARLATTI'S 'LA GLORIA DI PRIMAVERA' WITH NICHOLAS McGEGAN & PHILHARMONIA BARQOUE RELEASED TO RAVE REVIEWS

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

"Philharmonia Baroque’s recording of the North American premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti’s long forgotten serenata, La Gloria di Primavera, is simply superb....Tenor Nicholas Phan sings marvelously, with great strength and heroic timbre. The man has Messiah written all over him."

 

GRAMOPHONE - Editor's Choice July 2016

"Nicholas Phan’s precise florid passagework in ‘Di cieco orrore e d’ombra’ is one of Winter’s gutsier outbursts, although he also has the softly mellifluous ‘Sull’orme de’ grand’Avi’ (with a gentle pair of oboes)...McGegan’s experienced direction and the musical finesse of his Californian orchestra. This is a delightfully enjoyable revelation of the elder Scarlatti’s genius."

OPERA NEWS - Critic's Choice October 2016

"Tenor Nicholas Phan also shows a wonderful sense of language and contour in Winter’s recitatives. He brings vocal personality and dramatic shape to the many text repetitions of the vigorous aria 'Di cieco orrore' and keeps the chromatic and complicated 'Sull’orme de grand’avi supple and fluid."