With performances hailed as “stellar”, “energetic,” and “excellent,” mezzo-soprano Kaylee Nichols is an artist to watch. She began 2021 by being named a Tennessee District Encouragement Winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In the 2019-2020 season, she made role debuts such as Mercedes in Carmen with Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera Project Columbus. She also joined Nashville Opera as a member of the Mary Ragland Emerging Artist Program. During her residency, Ms. Nichols appeared as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Angie in Pepito, and Mrs. Grose in Turn of the Screw. In the summer of 2020, Kaylee was accepted as an Active Participant in the Dandelion Opera Institute, an intensive online training program. She was also selected as a Participant in Fort Worth Opera's Masterclass Series and Virtual Audition Intensive with Jennifer Rowley.
In 2021, Ms. Nichols will make her debut with the Springfield Symphony as the Alto Soloist in their Mozart Requiem. In April, she was slated to reprise her role as Maddalena in Rigoletto with Nashville Opera. Due to Covid, this performance was cancelled. In the summer she will be joining the roster of Central City Opera as a member of the Bonfils-Stanton Artist Training Program. She will be covering the title role in Dido and Aeneas and singing Giovanna in the family performance of Rigoletto.
In the 2018 season, Ms. Nichols made role and house debuts such as Tisbe & Angelina (c) in La Cenerentola with Opera Project Columbus and Nashville Opera as Flora in La Traviata . In the concert realm, Ms. Nichols debuted with Butler Philharmonic Orchestra as the Mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Handel's Messiah.
In the 2017 season, Ms. Nichols returned to Nightingale Opera Theatre to sing the role of Vera Boronel and the Secretary (yap performance) in The Consul and the Monitor in Suor Angelica with Opera Project Columbus. She also appeared as Zerlina in #UncleJohn with Opera Columbus: Opera on the Edge Series, and debuted with the New Albany Symphony in their Holiday Spectacular.
As a 2016 graduate of McGill University, Ms. Nichols made her debuts with Opera Columbus in Twisted2, Nightingale Opera Theatre leading the young artist cast as Jo March in Little Women, and Opera Project Columbus as La Madre di Mariuccia in Nino Rota's I due Timidi. Also in 2016, Ms. Nichols sang with Great Lakes Light Opera in the One World Day Festival and was selected as a Master Class and Gala Concert singer with Mid-Ohio Opera, where she coached and performed with the renowned Arlene Shrut.
Ms. Nichols completed her Master of Music as the recipient of the Graduate Excellence Fellowship. Her Opera McGill credits include Eduige in Rodelinda, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and La Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica. There, she worked with directors such as Patrick Hansen, Nicola Bowie, and David Gately. Under the baton of Maestro Christopher Larkin, her performance of Jo March in Opera McGill’s production of Little Women was streamed nation-wide across Canada and internationally on CBC Music. Other operatic roles include Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, and Le converse in Suor Angelica.
Ms. Nichols concert experience includes Mozart Mass in C minor, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Missa Brevis in F, Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Brittan, Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, and various recordings for Chorister’s Guild. Her merited solo and academic awards include the McGill Graduate Excellence Fellowship, first place in the NATS Mid-South Regional competition, and the Gold Prize winner of the Lee University Concerto Competition.
Kaylee currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and studies with Karl Resnik at Musical Arts Center and Jennifer Rowley.