Dumfries born, Nicky trained at the Guildhall School and the NOS and progressed to become one of the inaugural Harewood Artists at the ENO in 2011. An artist of great integrity, Nicky Spence’s unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty in his musicianship are steadfastly earning him a place at the top of the profession.
On the opera stage, Nicky created the role of Brian in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys at ENO, a role he reprised for his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2013.
Nicky has enjoyed great success in the UK in roles such as Alwa in Berg’s Lulu, David in Richard Jones’ Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Novice Billy Budd (ENO); Tamino Die Zauberflöte directed by Sir Thomas Allen, Baron Lummer Intermezzo for Scottish Opera; Chevalier de la Force Dialogues des Carmélites for Grange Park Opera and in concert: Mime Das Rheingold (Hallé / Elder), Steuermann Der fliegende Holländer (CBSO / Nelsons), Iago Rossini’s Otello (Buxton Festival), Young Sailor Tristan und Isolde (BBCSSO / Runnicles), and Courtois Zazà (Opera Rara / Benini).
Further afield, Nicky has garnered acclaim internationally at Opéra de Paris, La Monnaie, Oper Frankfurt, Seattle Opera, Dutch National Opera, New Zealand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Becoming a great exponent of Janàček’s music, Nicky has appeared in Jenůfa (La Monnaie, ENO); Káťa Kabanová (Seattle Opera, Opera Holland Park) and The Makropoulos Case (Oper Frankfurt).
Nicky’s season plans include a return to Opéra de Paris for Andres in Berg’s Wozzeck, Captain Pirzel in Die Soldaten for Teatro Real, Steva Burya Jenůfa for the new Grange Park Opera, Tichon Káťa Kabanová at OHP, and Nikita in From the House of the Dead for his Royal Opera House debut.
In demand on the recital platform, Nicky sings reguarly with the Myrthen ensemble and enjoys collaboration with leading artists such as Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Graham Johnson, Sholto Kynoch, Iain Burnside, Simon Lepper and Joseph Middleton. His discography includes the forthcoming final disc of Roger Vignoles’ Strauss Song Series (Hyperion), French Melodié, Shakespeare Settings (both with Martineau), Buxton Orr with Iain Burnside (Delphian), and works by Schumann, Wolf, Britten and premieres of Jonathan Dove, Pavel Haas, Alun Hoddinott and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Nicky is a Samling Artist and was nominated by the International Opera Awards for Young Singer of the Year in 2015 and was also one of ten artists included in the Times Breakthrough Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards celebrating the best up and coming young British talent from across the Arts industry.