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Nicole Cabell (Soprano)

Born: October 17, 1977 - Panorama City, California, USA

The American soprano, Nicole Cabell, began to notice at age 15 that "People obviously can hear something, even if I can't," she said. "That's sort of how it's been: I've been walking through doors as they've been presented to me". She had three years of private singing lessons in high school with soprano voice teacher Linda Brice (MM, Indiana University School of Music) and voice instructor and coach Vincent "Scammer" Sorisio (MM, California State University, Northridge; BM Indiana University School of Music.) It was with Sorisio that, at the age of 18 in 1997, she took 2nd prize in the NATS competition for the Western Region. Subsequently Sorisio continued to teach Nicole Cabell; he prepared her for her auditions for various music schools and public performances. At Eastman School of Music Nicole studied with John Maloy, and earned thereher Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance. She then entered the Juilliard School, but only for a very brief time, as she had been asked to join the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists at the Lyric Opera of Chicago where she remained for three years. During this period of time the Center's then-director, Richard Pearlman, famous soprano and Director of Vocal Studies Gianna Rolandi, and opera legend Marilyn Horne were her mentors. Nicole Cabell continues to study with Rolandi, who is the present director of the newly renamed Ryan Opera Center. Nicole returned home to Ventura and performed for the Ventura Music Festival, which included a reunion with pianist Vincent "Scammer" Sorisio in a performance for her former school, Ventura High School in 2008. Awards include first place in both the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and the Women's Board of Chicago Vocal Competition. She was a semi-finalist in the 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and earned first place in the American Opera Society competition in Chicago. She is the 2002 winner of the Union League's Rose M. Grundman Scholarship, and the 2002 Farwell Award with the Woman's Board of Chicago.

In 2003-2004 season Nicole Cabell sang Barbarina and covered Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and appeared as Isabel in The Pirates of Penzance at the Lyric Opera, having sung with the same company the role of Crobyle in Thaïs in the fall of 2002. In concert, she made her debut with the Oregon Symphony as the Soprano Soloist in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Carlos Kalmar and repeated Barbarina with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim at the Ravinia Festival. In the summer, Cabell was also heard live on A Prairie Home Companion in a celebration of Ravinia’s 50th season and sang the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with the Grant Park Festival. In concert, Nicole Cabell was a featured soloist in Ravinia's All Gershwin Concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Alan Miller, and participated in Ravinia's opening day concert, accompanied by Welz Kauffman. Cabell has appeared as a soloist in Chicago's Grant Park Festival and Lyric Opera Center for American Artists Rising Stars in Concert.

While a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (now known as Ryan Opera Center), Nicole Cabell had the opportunity to sing the title-role in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen in student matinees as well as to cover the roles of Marzelline in Fidelio and Rita Billingsly in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding. Cabell made her extremely successful Orchestra Hall debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concerts of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with Sir Andrew Davis conducting. She also made her European debut in concerts of Johannes BrahmsEin deutsches Requiem with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Antonio Pappano and Thomas Hampson; she appeared with the Florida Orchestra as the Soprano Soloist in Gustav Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Florida Orchestra and Stefan Sanderling and in Heitor Villa-LobosBachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the Baltimore Symphony. Nicole Cabell was heard in recital in Little Rock, Arkansa.

Nicole Cabell is fast becoming one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today. Her repertoire includes Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), The Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), The Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen), Musetta (La bohème), Lauretta and La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Clara (Porgy and Bess), La Princesse in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, La Femme in Francis Poulenc's La voix humaine, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and Arsamenes in Xerxes. She has recently added the role of Ilia in W.A. Mozart's Idomeneo and will be performing the role of Micaëla in Carmen at the Chicago Lyric Opera in the 2010-2011 season. Her concert repertoire includes Gustav Mahler's Symphonies No. 2 and 4, F. Poulenc's Gloria, Orff's Carmina Burana, L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Tippett's A Child of Our Time, André Previn's Honey and Rue and Henryk Górecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. She has collaborated with major conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, James Conlon, Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, André Previn and Sir Raymond Leppard.

After winning the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in June 2005, Nicole Cabell made her London début on August 2, 2006 at The Proms, singing Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations, with Sir Andrew Davis conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She made her Royal Opera House début at the Barbican as Princesse Eudoxie in a concert performance of Halévy's La Juive, on September 19, 2006, conducted by Daniel Oren. She also sang the role of Adina in L'elisir d'amore in Montpellier. She was planning to make her debut at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin in mid-December 2006, but due to the last-minute indisposition of soprano Angela Gheorghiu, Cabell was asked to step in, and her debut took place somewhat earlier - on December 7 - as Juliette in Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette alongside Neil Shicoff. She had previously sung the role at the Spoleto Festival USA in May 2006. Cabell made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera on December 22, 2008, singing the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute. In 2007, she gave her first solo recital at St John's Smith Square in London, sang the title role in Donizetti's Imelda de' Lambertazzi at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Musetta in La bohème in Munich; during the Santa Fe Opera's 2006 summer festival season; at the Washington National Opera; and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Other debuts in opera in 2006-2007 season were with the Palm Beach and Madison Operas for Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, with Michigan Opera Theater as Musetta in La Bohème. She appeared in recital in New York City as part of Marilyn Horne’s Birthday Gala at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall as well as in Chicago, Buffalo and Bradford, PA. On the concert stage Cabell was heard in Louisville in both the Francis Poulenc Gloria L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Raymond Leppard in both cases, in Milwaukee in a program of Shakespeare-themed pieces with Nicholas McGegan, in crossover concerts with the Pasadena Pops and in Montreal Opera’s annual gala. She also sang in a Classical Christmas program with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Later in the season, Nicole Cabell returned to Rome for concerts of Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations and Gustav Mahler’s 4th Symphony with James Conlon and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In the summer, Cabell made her London concert debut at the Proms in Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis; she returned to the Ravinia Festival for a crossover concert with James Conlon, to the Bard Music Festival for a recital of Franz Liszt Lieder and a concert of music by Halévy and to the Pasadena Pops for evenings of music from around the Mediterranean. She also made her St Louis debut with more crossover concerts with the Compton Heights Band.

Nicole Cabell’s 2007-2008 season began and ended with performances of the role of Musetta in La Bohème with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Washington Opera. Other notable opera appearances included Pamina with Opera Pacific and a concert of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale with the Bayerischer Rundfunk. Nicole Cabell was heard in concert in London, Munich, Lyon, Oslo and Pittsburgh as well as in Christmas concerts with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. She appeared in recital in Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Omaha, St Louis and Tryon.

Other recent engagements included many exciting debuts, most notably with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Eudoxie in concert performances of La Juive, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall in Francis Poulenc’s Gloria, the Santa Fe Opera as Musetta in La Bohème, the Opéra de Montpellier as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin as Juliette, Ilia in Idomeneo and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, as well as the release of her first solo CD for Decca, “Nicole Cabell, Soprano”. Another important recording project was the title-role of Donizetti’s Imelda de’ Lambertazzi for Opera Rara, which she also performed in concert in London. Notable concert appearances included Carmina Burana and Honey and Rue with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Andre Previn, an all-Leonard Bernstein evening at Harvard with Judith Clurman, the Gorecki 3rd Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä and a return to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for a concert of Opera Arias with Mario Venzago. She also appeared in recital in London, Tokyo, Hammond, LA, and for the opening of the new hall at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Nicole Cabell’s 2008-2009 season brought her to the Metropolitan Opera for her house debut in two of her most acclaimed roles: Pamina in The Magic Flute, followed by Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore. With her home company, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she sang Leïla in Georges Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles and an Opera Concert at Millenium Park conducted by the company’s Music Director, Sir Andrew Davis. Other opera engagements included two role debuts: the Countess in W.A. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Cincinnati Opera and Micaëla in Carmen with the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. In concert, Nicole Cabell was heard in Copenhagen, Prague, Munich, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Ottawa, Indianapolis and Raleigh. Miss Cabell appeared twice in recital at Carnegie Hall, first for Marilyn Horne’s 75th birthday gala concert, then as part of Jessye Norman’s Honor Festival, apart from solo dates in Toronto, Berkeley and Cincinnati. A more unusual event in the soprano’s season was a series of cabaret concerts at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Nicole Cabell returned last season (2010-2011) to the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Micaela in Carmen, to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and made an exciting role debut: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Oper Köln and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. She also returned to the Cincinnati Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. In concert, she appeared with the Edinburgh Festival as the Mater Gloriosa in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, followed by Gala Opening Concerts in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and their music director, Claus Peter Flor. Nicole Cabell sang solo recitals in Toronto and Louisville, Kentucky.

Other recent engagements include Musetta in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera and for Nicole Cabell’s debut at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as well as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She also made debuts with the New Orleans Opera as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette and with the Atlanta Opera as Pamina. In concert, she debuted with three major orchestras: the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in Opera Aria Concerts in New York and in Vail with Bramwell Tovey, the Boston Symphony Orchestra in L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Kurt Masur and the Cleveland Orchestra with its music director, Franz Welser-Möst, in Johannes BrahmsEin deutsches Requiem. Nicole Cabell returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Markus Stenz, sang Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, first with the Singapore Symphony and John Nelson, then with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano in Rome. In recital, she was heard in Urbana, Illinois and Savannah, Georgia.

Nicole Cabell’s current season (2011-2012) showcases her command of W.A. Mozart’s music, as she sings the Countess in W.A. Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro in Montreal, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in Tokyo. She will also be heard in some of her favorite roles in the French repertoire: Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with the Palm Beach Opera and Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Santa Fe Opera. In concert, she will be heard in London, Chicago, Cincinnati, Toronto, Atlanta, San Diego and St Petersburg. Future engagements include a debut with the San Francisco Opera in a leading role.

Nicole Cabell is signed to a recording contract with Decca. Her first recording, released in 2006, was of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, conducted by John Mauceri, while her first solo recital album, “Soprano”, is of arias in French, Italian and English. It was released in 2and received two awards: the Georg Solti Prize Orphée d’Or 2007 by the Académie du Disque Lyrique for a promising recording career and The Gramophone Magazine's Editor's Choice in May 2007. She sang the title role in the 2007 recording of Donizetti's Imelda de' Lambertazzi for Opera Rara, conducted by Mark Elder with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She appeared in a filmed version of Puccini's La Bohème as Musetta for Deutsche Grammophon, alongside Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón with the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester conducted by Bertrand de Billy. The film debuted on PBS in December 2009.

“… a faultlessly gleaming soprano, a technique with no loopholes, and bags of confidence. It should do no harm that she is also tall, slim and glamorous … whatever this soprano chooses to sing, her voice makes wonderful music with it.” - Richard Fairman, Financial Times

More Photos

Source: Nicole Cabell Website; Wikipedia Website (January 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Leonardo García-Alarcón


Video (2016): G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [Alcina]

John Nelson


BWV 244 [1st]

Links to other Sites

Nicole Cabell (Official Website)
Nicole Cabell Fan Site
Nicole Cabell (Columbia Artists Management)

Nicole Cabell (Wikipedia)
Nicole Cabell (Askonas Holt)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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