Dr. Nicholas Larson
School of Communication: Music
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
Originally from Springfield, Oregon, tenor Nicholas Larson received a bachelor of music in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music in 1997, where he studied with tenor John Maloy. He also holds a master of music in vocal arts from the University of Southern California and a doctorate of musical arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
While at USC, Larson studied voice with bass Frank Curtis, who was vocal coach of the Hamburg cast of Phantom of the Opera for eight seasons before returning to the U.S. to teach. Upon graduation, he made a comfortable living as a singer in the Los Angeles area, singing with professional choirs The Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Crystal Cathedral, and Los Angeles Opera Chorus. With the LA Opera, he also sung the roles of Arthur Jones in Billy Budd with baritone Rodney Gilfrey and a student in Puccini's La Rondine with soprano Carol Vaness.
As a young artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City from 2000-03, Larson was fortunate to work with conductors Ward Holmquist, Lucinda Carver, and Karen Keltner, and performed the comprimario roles of Priest in Die Zauberflöte, Luther, and Buford in Carlisle. Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree, 2nd Jew in Salome, and Borsa in Rigoletto. He covered the role of Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and filled in for the role of Will Tweedy in Cold Sassy Tree after the lead tenor became ill in mid-performance.
His opera apprenticeship included three years of tuition-free education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he completed his doctorate in 2007. Continuing studies with Frank Curtis at the university, Larson worked with well known opera directors Matthew Lata and Daniel Helfgot, singing the lead tenor roles in full productions of La Traviata, Massenet's Manon, Cosi fan tutte, La Rondine, Hindemith's Hin und Zurück, and Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos.
After finishing his doctoral coursework in 2003, Larson briefly lived in Chicago, and was a soloist and chorister with Grant Park Symphony Chorus under conductor Carlos Kalmar. He also performed the role of Prince Charming in Massenet's Cendrillon with Milwaukee Opera Threatre. Also during that time, he spent two seasons as a young artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera, performing various opera scenes and the role of Nathaniel in Les Contes d'Hoffmann on the mainstage. In 2006, Larson completed a young artist program with Pensacola Opera, where he sang mainstage roles Remendado in Carmen and Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Since relocating back to his native Oregon in 2006, Larson has continued to perform locally, singing various roles with concert opera companies in the Northwest including Romeo in Bellini's I Capuletti ei Montecchi with Willamette Concert Opera, the title role in La Clemenza di Tito with Puget Sound Concert Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Eugene Opera Artist Mentor Program, and Mercury and Ruiz in Eugene Opera's mainstage productions of Orpheus in the Underworld and Il Trovatore. In the summer of 2008, Larson sang Ruggero in La Rondine for the Kansas City Puccini Festival under the baton of Andy Anderson, artistic director of Mobile Opera.
Upcoming 2009 performances include a concert performance of Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi for Eugene Opera in August '09, and Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro with the Eugene Opera Artist Mentor Program in October '09.
Having lived and worked in nearly every region of the country, Nicholas has come to appreciate the Northwest in a way he never did while growing up. He lives a quiet, happy life in Eugene with his lovely wife Cye, his newborn son Jack, and his two wonderful stepchildren Aidan and Oona.