Soprano Nicola Santoro is quickly establishing herself as a foremost interpreter of contemporary music. This season she was an Artist-In-Residence with Promenade Opera Project and premiered the role of Zoo Director in The Bedbug in October 2021. She starred in the collegiate premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs as Chrisann Brennan under the direction of Kevin Newbury and Maestro Michael Christie. She also appeared as Mrs. O’Malley in the collegiate premiere of It’s A Wonderful Life by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer. As a member of the inaugural Dandelion Opera Institute in 2020, Nicola worked with numerous mentors such as Omer Ben Seadia, Pierre Vallet, Ailyn Pérez, and more to refine her craft during the pandemic. Other educational programs she has been a part of include SongFest and The CoOperative Program, where she attended as both a Young Artist and Fellow.
During her time at Indiana University where she received her Master in Music, Nicola studied with Carol Vaness in her private studio as well as in her opera workshop, where Nicola starred as Lauretta in a production of Gianni Schicchi. In 2019, Nicola made her German premiere as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. She also sang as a soloist in several concerts with the Thüringer Symphoniker.
Recently, Nicola received the Encouragement Award in the Boston District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards. In previous years, she was a prize winner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition two years in a row, was a semifinalist in the Orpheus Competition, and was a recipient of the distinguished Georgina Joshi International Fellowship.
As a soloist, Nicola was scheduled as the soloist for Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic before the program’s cancellation due to the pandemic. She has also sung as a soloist with the The Handel Project (Alexander’s Feast) and with euphoniumist, Demondrae Thurman (A Summer’s Journey).
Having attended Westminster Choir College for her Bachelor of Music degree, Nicola has extensive choral experience, and has worked under the baton of world-renowned conductors such as Simon Rattle and Yannick Nezet-Seguin in performances of works by Beethoven (5th Symphony), Mahler (2nd, 8th Symphony), and Bernstein (Mass). She sang in Annelies by James Whitbourn at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center under the baton of Dr. James Jordan and was a member of Williamson Voices from 2013-15. The choir has premiered numerous works James Whitbourn, Thomas LaVoy, and Paul Mealor. During her time with the Williamson Voices, she had the opportunity to participate in the Choral Institute at Oxford.
In addition to her performing, Nicola is a producer focused on highlighting strong female characters and addressing gender inequity and stereotypes through new works. As a part of Guerilla Opera’s inaugural Artistic Mentorship Program, she worked directly with Aliana de la Guardia to format fundraising goals and target important steps in bringing a work to life.