Mezzo-Soprano Susan Nicely is known for her rich voice and vivid characterizations. Her highly acclaimed "lively comic presence" in roles such as Dame Marthe in Faust, Old Lady in Candide, Katasha in The Mikado, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as dramatic portrayals in Cavalleria Rusticana as Mamma Lucia and The Ballad of Baby Doe as Mama McCourt make the character mezzo an "audience darling," says the Austin American-Statesman. Up next, she performs both Auntie in Peter Grimes and Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette with Des Moines Metro Opera Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore with Arizona Opera; and the roles of Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico with Opera Carolina. A house favorite with the Dallas Opera, she has appeared there as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Annina in La Traviata, Hannah in Maria Stuarda, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, the Nurse in Boris Godunov, and most recently in a highly acclaimed performance of Julia Child in Lee Hoiby's one-woman opera, Bon Appetit! Proclaimed D Magazine: "Mezzo-soprano Susan Nicely... delivered the goods with a gorgeously textured, rich vocal timbre and a perfect touch of slapstick, expanding on and somewhat exaggerating Child's endearing, always-laughed-off clumsiness." Also a house favorite at the Atlanta Opera, she has seen performances there as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Mary in The Flying Dutchman, Thelma Predmore in Cold Sassy Tree, Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Annina in La Traviata.
Engagements from the past few seasons include Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Arizona Opera and the Orlando Philharmonic, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana with New York City Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Tampa; Gertrude in Romeo et Juliette with the New Orleans Opera and Opera Grand Rapids; Katasha in The Mikado with the Indianapolis Opera and Portland Opera; Emma Jones in Street Scene, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Chautauqua Opera; Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Omaha; The Old Lady in Candide with Austin Lyric Opera; Marquise de Berkenfeld in La Fille du Regiment with Florentine Opera; Annina in La Traviata with Opera Pacific; the Witch in Hansel und Gretel with Chicago Opera Theatre; Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Cleveland; and Dame Marthe in Faust with Palm Beach Opera.
Ms. Nicely made her European debut in Strasbourg, France in the role of Mary with Opera du Rhine's production of Der Fliegende Hollander and her debut in South America as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with Opera Breve in Caracas, Venezuela. Other acclaimed previous engagements include Mother Goose in The Rake's Progress with San Francisco Opera; Mamma Lucia in Cavelleria Rusticana, Governess in Pique Dame and Mrs. Ott in Susannah with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Marthe in Faust with Houston Grand Opera; and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Cincinnati Opera.
Orchestral appearances include concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Grant Park Symphony of Chicago, Wheeling Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
Opera Carolina Performances:
Il Trittico (2013–2014)
Love Notes (2008–2009)