Nicole Heaston completed her Master’s Degree in Voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and received her undergraduate degree in music at the University of Akron. She is a distinguished graduate of Houston Grand Opera’s Butler Studio.
A richly varied 2023-2024 season includes the soprano’s returns to Los Angeles Opera, as Mary in Still’s Highway 1, USA and Houston Grand Opera, as Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff. With Philharmonia Baroque, she sings the unique combination of Anna/Dido in Errollyn Wallen’s Dido’s Ghost and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. During the spring of 2024, she makes an anticipated role debut as Massenet’s Thaïs with Utah Opera. Further ahead, she will sing leading roles with Lyric Opera of Chicago and Opera Philadelphia.
Ms. Heaston began the 2022-23 season with the long-awaited world premiere of Mazzoli/Vavrek’s The Listeners at Den Norkse Opera, in which she sang the central role of Claire Devon. She appeared as Amore in a new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with San Francisco Opera, later returning to the city for her role debut as Melissa in Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula with Philharmonia Baroque, and also bowed in performances of Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Houston Grand Opera. She concluded the season with her first career performances of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa, notching a great success at Charleston’s Spoleto Festival USA.
The soprano’s 2021-22 season included returns to San Francisco Opera, singing Despina in a new production of Così fan tutte, Houston Grand Opera, singing the role of Liù in Turandot and hosting the company’s Giving Voice concert, and Houston Ballet as the featured soloist for Of Blessed Memory. She also sang further performances of Liù with Maryland Lyric Opera at Strathmore.
During the 2020-21 season, her close collaboration with Houston Grand Opera continued, as she performed Yolanda Cantrell in Jim Luigs’ reimagined The Impresario and Sir Elton John’s Trainer in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s chamber opera Vinkensport, co-hosted Giving Voice with Lawrence Brownlee, and presented a recital with Richard Bado as part of the Live from the Cullen recital series, all presented as part of HGO’s re-imagined digital season. Further showcasing her versatility during the last year, she created the Purple Robe Series, featuring songs from a large variety of genres including Opera, R&B, Gospel, Rap, and Musical Theater. The series went viral, especially for its episode honoring Juneteenth featuring Lift Every Voice and Sing as arranged by Roland Carter and performed by a chorus of outstanding Black opera singers.
Heaston has established a long-standing relationship with Houston Grand Opera. She made her debut with the company was in the title role of Roméo et Juliette, and she has since been heard as Mimì in La bohème, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. Heaston also created the title role in Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere of Jackie O, subsequently recording the opera for the Argo label.
Since her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Ms. Heaston has appeared several times with the theater, singing Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (conducted by James Levine), and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos. A regular presence in opera houses throughout the United States, Heaston recently sang Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with San Francisco Opera and Boston Lyric Opera, Musetta in La Bohème with the Fort Worth Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and for her debut with New York City Opera alongside Rolando Villazon (which was recorded and broadcast nationwide). She sang Despina in Così Fan Tutte with the Dallas Opera and made her debut with the Washington National Opera in the role of Pamina. Heaston made her debut at the Glimmerglass Opera in New York as Susanna, performing the same role at the Wolf Trap Opera in Virginia, and sang the role of the Princess in Respighi’s La Bella Dormente nel Bosco at the Spoleto Festival USA and the Lincoln Center Festival.
In recent seasons, Heaston made her Italian debut in Adriano in Siria at the Fondazione Pergolesi in Jesi, Italy. She also made her debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Musetta in La Bohème, performed in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera de Lille and The Creation at the Teatro Carlo Felice, and she sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival, returning as Arminda in La finta giardiniera, and performed the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea for her debut at the Semperoper Dresden.
Heaston made her European operatic debut as Anne Truelove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in Montpellier. Her recent continental appearances include the title roles in Didone Abbandonata and Alcina at Theater Basel, Countess Almiva in her debut with Staatsoper Hamburg and Den Norske Opera, and Alice Ford in Falstaff and the title role in Alcina with the Royal Danish Opera. She performed the role of Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea for her debuts at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence and at the Vienna Festwochen. She sang the role of Eve in Haydn’s The Creation for the Flanders Opera in Belgium, and sang performances of Gluck’s Armide with Les Musiciens du Louvre under the baton of Marc Minkowski, which was recorded for Archiv Production Deutsche Grammophon. Other collaborations with Maestro Minkowski have included Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Grenoble, France, and an appearance in William Klein’s motion picture Le Messie, based on Handel’s Messiah, for which she also recorded the soundtrack.
Equally active as a concert and recital soloist, Heaston has performed with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra for the Kennedy Center’s 11th annual gala. She has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony and the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor Michigan, and appeared several times with the Houston Symphony, singing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Haydn’s The Creation (released on the Pentatone label), and Brahms’ Requiem. She has bowed in concert with the Fort Worth Symphony, performing Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Ms. Heaston was heard in Mozart’s Requiem with the Honolulu Symphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass with Boston Baroque, which was recorded for the Teldec label and nominated for a Grammy® Award. She debuted at Carnegie Hall in recital at Weill Recital Hall, and she has previously given recitals at William Jewel College in Kansas City and for the Marilyn Horne Foundation.