In college, Nicholas performed in his first operas, Le Nozze di Figaro and L’Elisir d’Amore. From that point on he was hooked, and he dove into opera head first.
In fact, Nicholas became involved in the Carthage College opera program beyond just being a performer. As an undergrad student, he had the opportunity to work with the music department building the infrastructure to support an opera program, and he became the Carthage Student Opera PR and Marketing Director. In this role, he built a brand for the program, created promotional materials for its productions, represented it on radio and social media, all while also singing in the shows.
“It was during this time that I realized I loved opera and wanted to sing full-time,” says Nicholas. “I never got tired of promoting opera in my job as marketing director, and no matter how many times I’d done an all-nighter, I always had reserves of energy to help people realize they could love opera too!”
Since discovering his passion for opera, Nicholas has enjoyed performing in classic Italian works, such as Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, as well as modern operas, including one by Victoria Bond.
“I love the operas of Mozart, Donizetti and Puccini,” Nicholas says. “If I were ever so lucky, I’d love to sing as Tonio in Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment and Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.”
(Nicholas as Basilio in an Eastman School of Music production of Le Nozze di Figaro.)
After completing graduate school in Rochester, New York, joining the Florentine Opera Summer Residency Quartet is a return home for Nicholas, who considers Kenosha his hometown.
“I’m excited for a summer in Wisconsin – going to Summerfest, checking out the art museum and eating the food!” says Nicholas. “But I’m probably most looking forward to seeing my friends and family in the audiences again.”
Nicholas is also excited to work with the Florentine since it’s one of the oldest opera companies in the U.S. He says, “It’s an honor, besides being an incredible opportunity to make my artistry better.”
Learn more about Nicholas and follow him on social media: @NickHuffTenor.