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Nico Castel (Tenor)

Born: August 1, 1931 - Lisbon, Portugal
Died: May 31, 2015 - New York City, New York, USA

The Ameican tenor and vocal coach, Nico Castel (born: Naftali Chaim Castel Kalinhoff), was born in Portugal, raised in Venezuela, he finally made his way to New York to pursue his musical interests where he became the first winner of the "Joy in Singing" award which launched his career. Soon after, he made his debut with Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, and then the Metropolitan Opera Company where he is celebrating his 31st year. His tenure at the Met includes 21 years as staff diction coach.

Nico Castel’s contributions to the world of opera are vast and varied. His over 45 years of work in this field, performing, studying, teaching and developing and perfecting his skills and many talents have earned him the international acclaim as tenor, teacher, translator and unparalleled diction and style master coach he enjoys today.

Nico Castel is a true polyglot (he speaks fluent Portuguese, German, French, Spanish, Italian and English), a man of vast culture, a multi-talented artist and scholar, who in addition to having carved himself a career as one of the world's pre-eminent character operatic tenors, with over 200 roles in his repertoire, also developed a parallel career as vocal coach and teacher of multilingual lyric diction.

Nico Castel's career took him all over the world to work with such companies as: Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; Finnish National Opera, Helsinki; The New Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv; Opera Metropolitana, Caracas; Teatro São Carlos Opera, Lisbon; Spoleto Festival, Spoleto, Italy; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Florence; Semper Oper, Dresden; and in the USA, the opera companies of Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago Ravinia Festival, San Antonio, New Orleans, Baltimore, Miami, Santa Fe, Central City, and St. Louis among others.

Nico Castel was on the faculties of The Juilliard School of Music and Mannes College of Music in New York and is a noted lecturer and teacher at universities and conservatories throughout the world. His language and diction classes were taught at The Juilliard School, Manhattan Music Division, Eastman Music Division, University of Indiana, New York University, Metropolitan Opera Company, New York City Opera Company, Chicago Opera Center, Pittsburgh Opera Center, and A.I.M.S. (Graz, Austria). Since 1992 he was Adjunct Professor of Music at the Boston University. In a recent development, Castel joined MusAcom, an exciting new company providing affordable PracticePaks of major repertoire for students and professionals worldwide.

Nico Castel 's heritage and lifetime of knowledge and experience in the fields of language, singing and opera are culminated in his publications of opera libretti translations and diction manuals.

Source: Boston University – Music Division Website; San Francisco Master Classes Website (May 2001)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001, October 2004, April 2017)

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