Aaron St. Clair Nicholson made his debut with Pacific Opera Victoria in 2002, playing Count Homonay in The Gypsy Baron. He returned to sing Marcello in La Bohème in 2002 and Escamillo in Carmen in 2004. In 2008 he made his role debut as Athanaël in POV's production of Massenet's Thaïs and returned in 2014 as Sir Lancelot in Camelot in Concert. In April, 2017, Aaron performs the role of Countess Marie-Laure de Tilly in Les Feluettes, a role he created in the 2016 world première of the opera.
Recent engagements include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte (Opera Tampa); and director for Tancredi (Opera Southwest). Aaron is Director of Development for Opera San Jose and Artistic Director of Opera Coeur d'Alene, where he has directed La fanciulla del West, Die Zauberflöte, La bohème, Die Fledermaus, and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Aaron is retiring from singing after a 20 year career performing in opera houses across North America, including the Metropolitan Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and New York City Opera.
Aaron has established himself as an artist of the first rank, winning praise for his superb vocal gifts and the dramatic integrity he brings to his performances. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Schaunard in La bohème, conducted by Placido Domingo, and has since performed there as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and covered the roles of Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy and Chou en Lai in Nixon in China. Throughout his career, Aaron has garnered praise for his portrayals of opera's most well-known characters, which include numerous performances as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, which he sang with Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, L'Opéra de Montréal, Calgary Opera, and Opera Ontario; the title role in Don Giovanni with L'Opéra de Montréal, New York City Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa; and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Vancouver Opera, Virginia Opera, and Florida Grand Opera.
Aaron has returned several times to Florida Grand Opera as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Frederic in Lakmé, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and for performances of David DiChiera and Bernard Uzan's opera, Cyrano de Bergerac.
Other recent and notable credits include Escamillo in Carmen with Opera Coeur D'Alene, the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Vancouver Opera and Edmonton Opera, Valentin in Faust, Marcello in La bohème and the world première of Lillian Alling with Vancouver Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos with L'Opéra de Montréal; Mercutio with Opera Lyra Ottawa and Calgary Opera; Ping in Turandot with Opera Lyra Ottawa and L'Opéra de Montréal; and Charlie in Estacio's Filumena at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Aaron's symphonic resume includes performances of the Fauré Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana, Britten's War Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and several works by Vaughan Williams, with such organizations as the Atlanta Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, San Francisco Opera Center, Edmonton Symphony, Orchestra London, Brott Summer Music Festival, Festival Lanaudière in Québec, Vancouver Bach Choir, Binghamton Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, as well as various orchestras in Grand Rapids, Calgary and Ventura, California. Other works in his repertoire include Brahms' Vier ernste Gesänge, Copland's Old American Songs, and Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
As an alumnus of the Glimmerglass Opera's Young Artist Program, Nicholson starred as Lt. Lukash in their productions of The Good Soldier Schweik and as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West. The Abbotsford, British Columbia native was also a member of San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program and Seattle Opera's young artist program. The George London competition finalist has also earned awards such as the Richmond F. Gold Career Grant, the Karl Muller Performance Award from Seattle Opera, and the Sullivan Foundation Award for role preparation assistance.
The performance of baritone St Clair Nicholson was arguably the night's most compelling, as his comically delusional character evolved into one of pathos: the Countess is emotionally fragile but also unexpectedly wise, recognising and accepting her son's love for Simon.
Patricia Maunder, Bachtrack.com, review of Les Feluettes, Opéra de Montréal, 2016
As Ford, baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson gave a virtuosic display of vigorous full-throated singing and all out physical comedy.
San Francisco Chronicle
She was ably abetted by Aaron St Clair Nicholson as the hair-shirted monk, his tasteful singing an object lesson in refinement and ever at the service of the score's dramatic values. Lithe, agile, and drop-dead handsome, he dominated the stage in this singularly impassioned opera, bringing out the fiery side of his love
J.H. Stape, Review Vancouver, Review of Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Thaïs