The young Maltese tenor Nico Darmanin is fast establishing himself in the bel canto repertoire. Nico made his Covent Garden debut as Daniéli in Les Vêpres siciliennes and returned as Apparition of a Youth in Die Frau ohne Schatten. He also had successful debuts with Scottish Opera (Ramiro La Cenerentola), with Welsh National Opera (Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and for De Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp (Italian Tenor Der Rosenkavalier). Nico looks forward to adding further Donizetti role to his repertoire in the coming seasons
Maltese Tenor Nico Darmanin is quickly making a name for himself in the Rossini and Bel Canto repertoires, having already made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He studied with soprano Gillian Zammit, before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Music with Rosa Mannion and finally at the National Opera Studio. Nico is a Royal Overseas League Competition Finalist, Overseas Prize Winner and a BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Finalist 2015.
Nico appeared in two productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Daniéli in Les Vêpres siciliennes (the Olivier-Award winning production directed by Stefan Herheim and conducted by Pappano) and as the Apparition of a Youth Die Frau ohne Schatten under Semyon Bychkov (in Claus Guth award winning production). Nico also sang the Italian Tenor Der Rosenkavalier in Christoph Waltz’s first opera production for De Vlaamse Opera, returning to Antwerp as Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola for Scottish Opera and a critically acclaimed Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Holland Park. Nico also studied on the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro with Maestro Zedda, after which he was invited to sing Belfiore in Il Viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival.
The 2015/2016 season saw Nico make his debut for Wexford Festival Opera as Mérgy in Le pré aux clercs, as well as his house debut as Count Almaviva in the Barber of Seville for Welsh National Opera and a return to Opera Holland Park as Ramiro Cenerentola.
In concert, Nico’s repertoire includes Romantic song and operas by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Tosti, Fauré and Debussy. He has recently recorded a world premiere of Massenet songs with Richard Bonynge and, also under his baton, the tenor in Sullivan’s Shore and Sea for Victorian Opera. Further concert appearances include Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Festival Hall and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 at the Barbican Hall.
Nico is a Samling Artist and he has participated in masterclasses with Juan Diego Florez (in Pesaro) and Joyce DiDonato (at the Royal Opera House). He has also worked with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Thomas Allen on the Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, and with Mirella Freni as part of the Cubec masterclasses in Modena.
Recent engagements include Don Ottavio for Nederlandse Reisopera, a series of recitals in the US under the auspices of the Maltese Arts Council and title role Le Comte Ory for Dorset Opera. Engagements in 2017/2018 include Nico’s return to Covent Garden as Daniéli in Les Vêpres siciliennes a solo recital at the Three Palaces Festival in Malta, Messiahin Amsterdam, Christmas Concerts in Manchester, Glasgow and Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Osiride in a concert performance of Mose in Egitto at Cadogan Hall, Don Ottavio for Welsh National Opera and further concerts throughout the UK and in Malta.
“The Maltese tenor Nico Darmanin’s bel canto reputation is well established, and his voice has charm, security and personality…his high range is warm and unforced, and the slight pressure with which he launches a phrase extremely elegant. He is also a natural buffo” Peter Reed, Opera Magazine (October 2017)
La Cenerentola – Opera Holland Park
“Nico Darmanin has all the top notes and plentiful energy for the dashing prince.” George Hall, The Stage (July 2016)
“Ramiro, her handsome prince, was sung by Nico Darmanin, deploying a ringing Italianate tenor, whose top notes were lengthily and thrillingly held. The Act II aria “Si, ritrovarla io giuro” is one of the most well-known and formidable showcases for tenor in Rossini’s entire selection and Darmanin dispatched it fearlessly. His head-over-heels approach to certain moments in the plot was movingly done.” Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack (July 2016)
A recording of two rare Sullivan cantatas with Nico Darmanin (tenor), Sally Silver (soprano), Louise Winter (mezzo) and Donald Maxwell (bass-baritone). Richard Bonynge conducts Victorian Opera Northwest and the John Powell Singers
DUTTON EPOCH (2016)
Antonio Nana – Messa da Requiem
Jules Massenet – Les Amoureuses sont des folles
Songs by Jules Massenet with Richard Bonynge (piano), Sally Silver (soprano), Nico Darmanin (tenor), Christine Tocci (mezzo) and Gabriella Swallo (‘cello)
Giuseppe Verdi – Les Vêpres Siciliennes (DVD)
Live from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Antonio Pappano conducts the orchestra & chorus of the Royal Opera with Bryan Hymel (Henri), Lianna Haroutounian (Hélène), Erwin Schrott (Procida), Michael Volle (Montfort) and Nico Darmanin (Daniéli)