Maltese tenor Nico Darmanin is quickly making a name for himself in the Rossini and bel canto repertoires, having already made his debuts at the Royal Opera House (Daniéli Les Vêpres siciliennes) and Vlaamse Opera (Italian Tenor Der Rosenkavalier, dir. Christoph Waltz). He began his training with soprano Gillian Zammit (a former pupil of Carlo Bergonzi), before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Music with Rosa Mannion and the National Opera Studio. Recent highlights include Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park); Ramiro La Cenerentola (Scottish Opera); Ottavio Don Giovanni (Vlaamse Opera); and Belfiore Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro.
Engagements in the 2013/14 season included two appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Daniéli Les Vêpres siciliennes (in an Olivier-Award winning production directed by Stefan Herheim and conducted by Pappano) and as the Apparition of a Youth Die Frau ohne Schatten under Semyon Bychkov (in a new production by Claus Guth, which won the 2015 Opera Award for best Richard Strauss Anniversary Production). Darmanin also sang the Italian Tenor Der Rosenkavalier in Hollywood actor Christoph Waltz’s first opera production for Vlaamse Opera, and a critically acclaimed Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Holland Park. At the end of the season Darmanin studied on the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro with Maestro Zedda, after which he was selected to sing Belfiore Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival.
Highlights of the current season include Ramiro La Cenerentola (Scottish Opera); Ottavio Don Giovanni (Vlaamse Opera); Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall; and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 at the Barbican Hall. Further ahead he will make his house debut in a major role for Welsh National Opera.
Other operatic roles include Ferrando Così fan tutte (Dubrovnik Arts Festival); Ernesto Don Pasquale and Don Ottavio Don Giovanni (both Westminster Opera Co.); Danieli Les Vêpres Sicilienne (Royal Opera House); Italian Sänger Der Rosenkavalier (Vlaamse Opera); Die Jüngling Die Frau ohne Schatten (Royal Opera House); Il Conte d’Almaviva (Opera Holland Park); and Belfiore Il Viaggio a Reims (Rossini Opera Festival).
In concert, Darmanin’s repertoire includes Romantic song and operas by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Tosti, Fauré and Debussy. He has recently recorded a world premiere of Massenet songs with Richard Bonynge and, also under his baton, the tenor in Sullivan’s Shore and Sea for Victorian Opera.
Darmanin has participated in masterclasses with Juan Diego Florez (in Pesaro) and Joyce DiDonato (at the Royal Opera House). He has also worked with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Thomas Allen on the Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, and with Mirella Freni as part of the Cubec masterclasses in Modena.
Darmanin is a Royal Overseas League Competition Finalist, Overseas Prize Winner and most recently a BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Finalist 2015.