Nikola Matisic

Samling Artist Programme: 2006

Nikola made his larger-role debut at the Royal Opera House in London in 2006, replacing a suddenly ill Rolando Villazon as Lenskij in Eugene Onegin. Since then Nikola has established himself as one of the foremost tenors of Scandinavia; an artist of wide range, both as the classic young lover and as a physical vocal artist capable of creating new ground in theatre.

Due to his background as a competitive ballroom dancer and amateur martial artist, Nikola has been able to partake in creative new operas, like the fully choreographer and sung lead role of the voice of Narcissus in Echo & Narcissus with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. With a strong sense of timing, Nikola is also an obvious choice in comedy and the burlesque, as was clearly evident in the world premiere of The Scar by Paula Ward at Malmborg in the role of Ivan (a part especially written for him).

With the role of Lenskij Nikola made his Swedish debut at the Gothenburg Opera in the spring of 2008 ti great acclaim; Dagens Nyheter: ‘The brilliant lyric tenor Nikola Matisic’ Svenska Dagbladet: ‘His singing moves me to tears’ Goteborgsporsten: ‘The aria of Lenskij is sung with unbelievable beauty…This is World Class singing, carrying his fully supported pianissimo to stratospheric heights’.

A former Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, London, Nikola is now a freelancing artist. At the Royal Opera House he also performed Pang in Turandot, Un Giudice in Un Ballo in Maschera, Gastone in La Traviata, Local Nihilist in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Lenskij in Eugene Onegin, Borsa in Rigoletto, Voice of Narcissus in Echo & Narcissus for the ROH2; Nikola has also performed 1st Knight in Parsifal, Conte di Lerma in Don Carlo, all at the ROH Covent Garden. Nikola further covered lead and supporting roles, also at ROH: Jenik in Bartered Bride, Lenskij in Eugene Onegin, Jack in Midsummer Marriage, Tjekalinskij in Queen of Spades and Ferdinand in The Tempest at the ROH. Some of the great directors Nikola worked with are David McVickar, Richard Jones, Nicholas Hytner and Elijah Moshinsky, and conductors such as Sir Antonio Pappano, Bernard Haitink, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Charles Mackerras.

Nikola has performed with the Covent Garden, Royal opera House orchestra in concert, London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, both in the Messiah, and Mozart Requiem with Malmö Symphonic Orchestra, Haydn’s The Seasons with Värmlandsoperan and a New Years concert series with Stockholms Läns Wind Symphonic Orchestra, featuring Nikola as solo artist.

In the autumn of 2008 Nikola sang 40 performances as Camille in Merry Widow at Folkoperan in Stockholm. In the spring of 2009 Nikola returned to The Gothenburg Opera to sing Vanja Kudrjas in Katya Kabanova directed by John Dew. This was followed by Lenskij in Bergen and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at Opera Hedeland. At the end of 2009 he sang Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Malmö Opera. In 2010 he performed Alfredo in La Traviata for Den Nye Opera in Bergen and Lenskij as well as Narraboth in Strauss’ Salome at The Gothenberg Opera.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Nikola worked for five years in the youth opera chorus at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. He commenced dramatic studies at Opera studio 67, making his auspicious international debut in Italy, Cortona in the production “il Convito” by Cimarosa at the age of 22, however in the Buffo-baritone lead role Massimo (Opera Magane writes: ‘…outstanding in the cast was Nikola Matisic… Marvellously sung and wittiliy acted…’). With a wide vocal range he concentrated at first on bass-baritone and baritone repertoire but on entering post-graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London he began working with vocal professor Diane Forlano after her fortunately insisting that he start training as a tenor.

Thereafter, Nikola entered the combined Opera School in Den Haag and Amsterdam, Netherlands and, after attaining a Master degree, started freelancing with various smaller opera groups as well as performing sacred repertoire and orchestral works both in Sweden and Holland. During this period Nikola performed romantic lead roles like Horace in Gounod’s La Colombe and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana as well as character parts like Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos and L’arithmetique in L’enfant et les sortilèges. Further early roles include Albert Herring, Don Ottavio, Tony, Tebaldo (performed 22 times at the Ice Globe Theatre – Jukkasjärvi – in minus 32 degrees Celsius!!) as well as the title role in Demofoonte.

Nikola is a Samling Artist, and the founder and director of operalabb, a growing movement for public knowledge on the art of Opera and classical singing. Nikola is a prolific writer, with several published articles on the topic of Art and Culture. Nikola is also a member of Mensa, Sweden and the European Cultural Parliament.