Douglas McNicol

DOUGLAS McNICOL

Baritone

Following a brilliant 2014, when as Baron Scarpia in both Opera Australia’s premier season of John Bells’ Tosca and with West Australian Opera, as well as resoundingly successful debuts as Jokanaan (Salome) for SOSA and Iago (Otello) for Opera Queensland, a most satisfying 18 months was topped off with the awarding to Douglas McNicol of the Adelaide Critics Circle Best Individual Performer Award in all genres of live performance, for his revival of the role of Iago with State Opera of South Australia.

Recent engagements include the roles of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Harasta in Cunning Little Vixen, Tonio in I Pagliacci, Leporello in Don Giovanni (for which he received a Helpmann Award nomination as Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in opera), Verdi’s Requiem and the Puccini Spectacular all for State Opera of South Australia, Horatio in Brett Dean’s Hamlet for Adelaide Festival, the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for West Australian Opera, as well as Faure’s Requiem with West Australian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Simone Young. This year, he is also director of State Opera of South Australia’s production of Madeline Lee by John Haddock.

After studying music and drama at Flinders University in South Australia and voice at the Elder Conservatorium, Douglas spent a year as a member of Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program before undertaking extensive vocal study in Europe. He began his professional singing career in 1981 at the State Opera of South Australia, making his debut with The Australian Opera, now Opera Australia, in 1991. A recidivist finalist for Helpman and Green Room awards, Douglas has also won the Australian Singing Competition, The National Opera Festival Award, and is a Churchill Fellow.

An engagement to sing the role of Scarpia in 2006 was an outstanding success and began a move towards more dramatic repertoire including such roles as Amonasro, Pizarro and Jokanaan.

Douglas’ continuing repertoire includes The Four Villains (The Tales of Hoffmann), Jokanaan, Pizarro (Fidelio), Verdi’s Iago,  Amonasro (Aida), Don Carlo (La Forza del Destino), Rigoletto, Ford (Falstaff), Puccini’s Scarpia (Tosca), Jack Rance (La Fanciulla del West), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly,(available on DVD), Mozart’s Leporello (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), The Speaker (The Magic Flute), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Peter (Hansel and Gretel), Jupiter (Orpheus in the Underworld) as well as  Don Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Escamillo (Carmen),Dr Falke (Die Fledermaus), and Pooh Bah (Mikado).  

Regarded as one of Australia’s most versatile and experienced baritones, notable engagements include the world premiere seasons of Richard Meale’s Voss 1986 (Adelaide Festival), and Richard Mills’ The Love of the Nightingale 2007 (Perth International Arts Festival). He has gained a reputation for excellence in contemporary opera, performing such roles as the Lieutenant in John Haddock’s opera, Madeline Lee for Opera Australia, Owen Hart in the Australian premiere of Dead Man Walking, Captain Gardiner Moby Dick  (SOSA) and Roy Disney in Phillip Glass’ The Perfect American (OQ / Brisbane Festival)

Other successful engagements have included the roles of Giorgio Germont (La Traviata), Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Figaro and PapagenoMarcello (La Bohème), Zurga (The Pearl Fishers), Valentin (Faust). 

During his career he has worked for all the major opera companies and orchestras in Australia and New Zealand. with the Melbourne, Adelaide, Queensland, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as performing concerts in Italy and the UK, and as a guest artist at ‘Opera Under The Stars’ in Broome.

In concert and oratorio Douglas has a wide repertoire, performing in works such as Bach’s MagnificatChristmas Oratorio, Mass in B MinorSt John and St. Matthew Passions, Purcell’s The Tempest, Berlioz The Childhood of Christ, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, the Fauré, Brahms and Mozart Requiems, Handel’s  Acis and Galatea, Messiah, Mendlesohn’s Elijah and The Bells by Rachmaninov.

Douglas McNicol resides in Adelaide, South Australia.

PERFORMANCES WITH STATE OPERA SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Judge Turpin – Sweeney Todd (2020)
Bartolo – The Barber of Seville (2020)
Sharpless – Madama Butterfly (2019)
Director – Madeline Lee (2019)
Harasta – Cunning Little Vixen (2019)

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My State Opera favourite moment was performing the title role in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. It is an Everest of a role and truly a test of mental, physical, and vocal stamina. I was surrounded by wonderful colleagues both on and off stage, and together, we created something very special. It was one of the most harmonious (no pun intended!) productions I have ever been a part of.

I treasure every single memory from the very first rehearsal to the standing ovation at the end of the sold-out final performance. Most of all, it marked my change from ensemble performer to State Opera principal artist and I will be forever grateful to have been given that opportunity from a company that I have grown up with and hold very dear in my heart. - Joanna McWaters - Lyric Soprano
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My State Opera favourite moment was performing the title role in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. It is an Everest of a role and truly a test of mental, physical, and vocal stamina. I was surrounded by wonderful colleagues both on and off stage, and together, we created something very special. It was one of the most harmonious (no pun intended!) productions I have ever been a part of. 

I treasure every single memory from the very first rehearsal to the standing ovation at the end of the sold-out final performance. Most of all, it marked my change from ensemble performer to State Opera principal artist and I will be forever grateful to have been given that opportunity from a company that I have grown up with and hold very dear in my heart. - Joanna McWaters - Lyric Soprano

Comment on Facebook My State Opera ...

Brilliant performance 👏👏

Was fabulous and my partners first full opera that he loved and he is a truckie ❤️

I came and saw you in this. I was right at the back of the theatre and I never had any issues hearing every word you sang it was truly beautiful

Have seen Madama butterfly 4 times! Still my absolute favourite opera🥰each one stunning & performed beautifully... Thanku🙏❤️

Was this a the festival theatre about 4 or so years ago? Absolutely brilliant and memorable production.

Your performance was a turning point in your career, I thought.

First opera in which I saw you. Great Wow! factor!

And you were wonderful xxx

Beautiful performance🤗😘

Fantastic performance! 🍾

You were wonderful

Love it!

I prefer to call you Madame Spanks

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"McWaters captured the hearts of everyone in the crowd with a voice that seemed born for the role." - Limelight Magazine

Joanna McWaters performs Dolly's Aria from Cloudstreet. Dolly is the role that Joanna created and premiered in 2016. Have you caught up on all of the Arias From the Archives episodes?
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Comment on Facebook Dolly's Aria ...

One day I dream to sing this role as beautifully as you jo x

Such a great role Jo McWaters!

Palmer spent five years transforming Cloudstreet, one of the country’s most beloved stories into operatic form – both composing the music and adapting Winton’s 427-page novel into a libretto.

We look back on this production in our Arias from the Archives series with Joanna McWaters performing Dolly's aria watch here: youtu.be/1GcP8H63Kso
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Palmer spent five years transforming Cloudstreet, one of the country’s most beloved stories into operatic form – both composing the music and adapting Winton’s 427-page novel into a libretto. 

We look back on this production in our Arias from the Archives series with Joanna McWaters performing Dollys aria watch here: https://youtu.be/1GcP8H63Kso

Comment on Facebook Palmer spent five ...

Love it too. An amazing production with our talented artists.

This was the best moment of the opera, (or one of the best). Loved it.

Still on my Bucket list!! Love , love , love it!!

I would love to see this again - it changed me forever

Must be revived as so many people missed out!

Brilliant production!

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As a company, we love connecting deeply with South Australians and are proud to bring so many Australians home to sing for you. ... See MoreSee Less

As a company, we love connecting deeply with South Australians and are proud to bring so many Australians home to sing for you.

Comment on Facebook As a company, we ...

Looking forward to the next time you are home Grant Doyle 🎼

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