Australian baritone Nicholas Lester studied at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music and the National Opera Studio, London and was a State Opera of South Australia Young Artist. His studies were sponsored by Glyndebourne Festival Opera as the recipient of the Anne Woods/Johanna Peters Award and he was a recipient of an Independent Opera/National Opera Studio Postgraduate Voice Fellowship‚ awards from the Simon Fletcher and Tait Memorial Trusts and is very grateful for support from Chris Ball and Serena Fenwick. In 2014 Nicholas was delighted to be voted ’Best Male in a Leading Role’ by the Opera Holland Park audience for his performance as Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Engagements postponed or cancelled due to Covid include Lescaut Manon Lescaut and Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte (The Grange Festival), Onegin (West Green House Opera), Cascada The Merry Widow in Mumbai and Marco Pandora's Box (The Opera Story).
Recent and future plans include Title Role Orphée, Marcello La Bohème and Cascada The Merry Widow (ENO), Ford Falstaff (The Grange Festival), Chou en Lai Nixon in China, Josef K in Philip Glass’s The Trial‚ Germano La Scala di Seta‚ Dr Malatesta Don Pasquale and Ping Turandot (Scottish Opera), Daddy Bear Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs The Opera Story‚ Marcello (New Zealand Opera, English Touring Opera‚ Iford Festival and Lyric Opera Productions‚ Dublin), title role Eugene Onegin and Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia (Welsh National Opera)‚ Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte‚ Dandini La Cenerentola, Figaro and Frédéric Lakmé (Opera Holland Park)‚ Valentin Faust (Dorset Opera Festival)‚ Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte (Danish National Opera)‚ Escamillo Carmen (Mid Wales Opera)‚ excerpts of Gianni Schicchi (title role) in a broadcast performance from Amsterdam’s newest concert hall‚ Bimhuis‚ and Bohuš The Jacobin (Buxton Festival). Recent concerts include Raymond Gubbay Spectacular Classics at Bridgewater Hall and Sea Symphony with Brighton Philharmonic conducted by Barry Wordsworth.
He created the role of Edward Lear in Ode to nonsense- a co-production between Slingsby Theatre Company and State Opera of South Australia in Adelaide‚ and performed Marcello for the State Opera of South Australia. Further roles include Fred / Petrucchio Kiss Me Kate (WNO)‚ Belcore L’elisir d’amore‚ Conte Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro‚ Don Giovanni (title role)‚ Theseus A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Doctor and Shepherd Pelléas et Mélisande‚ Diarte Erismena (Cavalli)‚ Justizrat and Storch Intermezzo‚ Schaunard La bohème‚ Onegin Eugene Onegin‚ Pietro Simon Boccanegra‚ Aeneas Dido and Aeneas‚ The Foreman Jenufa‚ Miguel Betrothal in a Monastery (Prokofiev)‚ Colonel Calverly Patience‚ Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance‚ Sir Joseph Porter HMS Pinafore‚ Paris Roméo et Juliette‚ Kagler Wiener Blut‚ The Vicar Albert Herring.
Notable concert engagements include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen for Maurice Béjart’s ballet Song of a Wayfarer with English National Ballet at the London Coliseum‚ performances of Mendelssohn Elijah‚ Bach Cantatas‚ Rameau Motets and Mozart Requiem. He has sung Brahms Requiem in Beijing‚ Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra‚ the Fauré Requiem at St Martin-in-the-Fields and Messiah under Laurence Cummings.