Visiting Assistant Professor and Instructor of Voice
Music Building, 110
Mezzo-soprano Laura Nichols began her musical career in the Twin Cities singing with the Minnesota Opera, where she was a principal member of the world premiere casts of Dominic Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming, William Mayer’s A Death in the Family and Conrad Susa's Black River. Ms. Nichols has been a featured oratorio and orchestral soloist with conductors Robert DeCormier, John Harbison, Layton James, Mark Mandarano, David Randolph, Joel Revson, Helmut Rilling, Kathy Romey, Robert Shaw, Osmo Vanska, and Pinchas Zuckerman. Representative orchestras with which she has been a soloist include the American Symphony Orchestra, the Duluth Symphony Orchestra, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Ms. Nichols began her formal musical training at Rutgers University, earning a B. A. in music education and at the Eastman School of Music, earning an M. M. in voice performance. Her mentors include the famed mezzo-sopranos Jan DeGaetani and Elizabeth Mannion. In 2010 she completed her Ph.D. in music at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the vocal health practices of professional singers.
Before moving to St. Paul, Dr. Nichols sang opera and oratorio roles in Boston and New York. Currently, she serves as a visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where she teaches voice, runs the opera workshop and coaches the principals in the bi-annual musical. She is a frequent competition judge for the Schubert Club, the Thursday Musical, the Minnesota Music Teachers Association and the Minnesota State Fair and County Fair competitions.
Recent performances include the New York premiere of Carleton Macy’s song cycle Douce Dame with North South Consonance and the world premiere of Macy’s Road Songs, DeFalla’s Siete Canciones populares Espanolas (arranged for wind ensemble by Shelley Hanson) with the Macalester Wind Ensemble and Mozart’s Mass in C with Winona Oratorio Chorus. Upcoming performances include those with the Macalester Choir and U of M Wind Ensemble.