You are joining IT&T for Handel’s ‘The Triumph of Time and Truth’ in October, and his Messiah on December 22nd. Do you have a particular favourite among Handel’s works? And if so, what is it about this piece which distinguishes it above the others?
It's a total cop-out to say, but there are just too many pieces that do so many different things to pick out just one! Obviously The Messiah is one of Western Culture’s pillars of achievement, and I adore the fact that it takes up most of my time every December, but I have a soft spot for his Ode to St. Cecilia for its range in representing so many magical facets of music and Jephtha is a total gift for a tenor and is dramatically utterly gripping (the same goes for Samson!). I could listen to his Concerti Grossi all day too.
Having been a choral scholar in Oxford was the transition into opera something that you had always wanted to do?
Yes, I think so, although I've never been one for a ‘five-year plan’, so it wasn't something I necessarily intended to move on to, but I did a lot of it while at university, and loved it all. While stage work is very important to me, concert repertoire is a big part of my professional life too, so the time I spent as a Choral Scholar has proved invaluable to the stuff I do now. The daily commitment, the teamwork and the level of musical excellence needed in that environment were all steep learning curves for me, which have provided skills I use daily. Work in the choir stalls and on the opera stage are more linked than people realise, I think!
Which projects, professional or personal, are you particularly looking forward to in the coming months?
Professionally, I'm looking forward to a recital in the Oxford Lieder Festival with fellow ex-New College musician, Ryan Wigglesworth, doing some Bach Cantatas with Harry Bicket and The English Concert at the Wigmore Hall, Bach’s Easter Oratorio with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and his St. John Passion in the USA with Jonathan Cohen, back home in London with Stephen Layton and the OAE, and of course in Spain with IT&T!
The ‘project’ I'm looking forward to the most though, is getting married at the end of the year to my wonderful fiancée, who is also singing with IT&T this month in the choir. It's certainly taken up a lot of our time recently, but we can't wait!
Nick joins IT&T for Handel’s ‘The Triumph of Time & Truth’ this month.