Nicholas Simpson, Tenor - Mediterranean Opera Studio Artist in Residence

25% ($5,551)
October 15th, 2015
Raised $5,551 of $22,000

About The Artist

Nicholas Simpson, Tenor

Praised by the Italian Newspaper Corriere di Rimini, Tenor Nicholas Simpson “possesses a voice that is flexible, but powerful….he literally stunned the public with his technical and expressive capability.” According to Opera News, he gives performances that “immediately seized attention with his full-bodied, brightly projected voice.” This season, Mr.Simpson has appeared as  Paul in Opera Circle Cleveland’s production of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt. In its review of the performance, Cleveland Classical noted that “Tenor Nicholas Simpson was splendid as Paul, negotiating a punishingly high and demanding vocal line with strength and agility.” Other engagements during 2013-2014 included Mr Simpson’s debut with Fort Worth Opera as the Kronprinz in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning...

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It’s been a whirlwind season and the best is yet to come. Here are some of the highlights: March found me singing Alberto in Rossini’s “Opportunity Makes the Thief,” displaying “bel canto bonafides” (Opera News.) In May, I made a successful mainstage debut at one of America’s great opera companies, Fort Worth Opera. At Fort Worth Opera, I sang the role of the Kronprinz in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer winning Opera “Silent Night.” In June I made a major role debut as Paul in Die Tote Stadt in Cleveland, and Cleveland Classical noted that "Tenor Nicholas Simpson was splendid as Paul, negotiating a punishingly high and demanding vocal line with strength and agility.” After singing in Sicily all of July, I ended the summer with concert versions of Carmen with Spotlight Concerts (Austin, TX) in August and September, and began the autumn with my first performance as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Chorus Austin (Austin, TX) in October. 

So what’s next?  This year’s non-stop singing schedule has led me to tackle some of the most demanding repertoire in my career.  As I celebrate these successes, I look forward to mastering the intensive musical and technical demands of my growing repertoire. I have found the program that can help me reach those goals, the International Artist in Residence program with the Mediterranean Opera Studio.


I’ve been invited to participate in the Artist in Residence program offered by the Mediterranean Opera Studio. It’s a rare opportunity to get the critical professional development I need for boldly stepping into the next phase of my career.  There is no other program that offers the combination of intense lessons and coaching in New York for the advanced singer.

In today’s operatic world, young singers are pressured to sing repertoire that is heavier and more difficult earlier in their careers. This requires young singers to work harder than ever before, and either master their craft or be defeated under the burden of their repertoire. Perhaps paradoxically, what one needs to meet the exigencies of today’s singing business can be found in the way singers trained many years ago, working with a teacher multiple times a week, and coaching repertoire with conductors.. 

While training with Mediterranean Opera Studio I will be attending lessons twice a week, musical coachings twice a week, and working with a dramatic coach each week. It is easily the closest model to the intense training received by singers of opera’s golden era.


The program also offers flexibility, which will allow me to continue my teaching and performing activities. Whenever I am away singing at an engagement, upon my return to New York from a singing or teaching engagement, training resumes and continues until all coursework is completed.

The program includes:

  • 2 weekly 1-hour voice lessons (with accompanist.) I will study voice with Metropolitan Opera tenor/Master teacher Jack Li Vigni, for a total of 104 total voice lessons. Normally, only 14-28 lessons per year are possible, and are many are not an hour (and fewer are with a pianist.) This level of interaction and study will allow solid and lasting improvements to be made to my singing and repertoire.
  • 2 weekly coachings with coach/conductors.  Coaches include Steven Crawford, Giovanni Reggioli, Brian Holman, among others, for a total of 104 coachings.  The coaches I work with have a conductor’s perspective, and help me make sure that my music is prepared to the highest level, and that I have assured control of diction, musical line, and accuracy. 
  • 1 weekly coaching with dramatic/acting coach-I will work with Marc Verzatt and/or Dona Vaughn, for a total of 52 coachings. I’ve never had sustained access to a dramatic coach, who helps synthesize the elements into a dramatic portrayal of my roles.
  • Concerts periodically throughout the year will help ensure that I am applying the concepts learned during the program, and help showcase me in Manhattan.


The tuition per year is $22,000.  By comparison the normal cost of doing all these things separately (and without the course of study being unified) would be:

  •  $14,000-$15,840, voice lessons
  • $8,640-$9,600, Musical Coaching
  • $3,600-$4,800, Dramatic Coaching

This would easily approach $30,000, while a year of study in a major New York conservatory would cost as much as $45,000 There is no doubt this program offers excellent value with approximately $10,000 or more in savings.


Singing has always been about connecting with the audience and inspiring others through the ability to harness the power of music.  Because you have been with me from the very beginning, I’m inviting you to join me on this exciting journey.  I’ll be documenting the entire process and letting you in to see the experiences of a young professional singer. You will be able to see the excitement, joys, frustrations, victories, hard work and trying times that arise over my year of intense studies.  You’ll be in on the ground floor watching me intensely refine and transform my artistry over the course of a year. 

The completed product will be a documentary of a young singer’s progress.  The film will cover such topics as learning a role (choosing the score, translations, preparing for coaching and lessons, and performance,) mastering technical concepts with my teacher, interacting with my artist manager, my coaches and stage directors, and the day to day life of a young professional singer. I will be screening the documentary at a cocktail party next spring in New York, Kansas City, and Austin for my donors.



Every donation helps, and is tax deductible!  In addition to your tax deduction, I’m offering a few unique ways to say thank you for those who contribute.

  • $5-$199 a personal link to the documentary after it’s premiere in Austin, and thanks on social media.
  • $200-$500 a link to the documentary and an invitation to the screening of the documentary in, Kansas City, MO, New York, NY and Austin, TX
  • $500-$1000 Invitation to the screening, and a recording of 2 arias or songs of your choice with a spoken dedication (optional post to youtube)
  • $1000-$2000 all the above, and a private house concert for you and your friends, and/or the opportunity to be featured in the documentary (in a voice lesson with me, a mention/personal thanks, or in another format of your choosing.)  
  • $2000-$5000 A concert dedicated to you with me and another professional singer at your home or in a concert venue. Access to rehearsals to view the collaborative process and the opportunity for a question and answer session with the other singer, the pianist and me.
  • $5000-$10,000 Collaboration with me on an artistic project, such as a performance of song or operatic literature together, a series of voice lessons/coachings culminating in a joint performance of a duet or a piece at your home or a concert venue, or the opportunity to curate and plan a recital program, or a semi-staged concert version of an opera of your choice (of appropriate repertoire) at your home or in a concert venue with a group of young professional singers.
  • $10,000-$20,000 Transportation to New York for a concert experience and a voice lesson with me in preparation to sing a song with me in a concert. I’ll also  show you my favorite locales in Manhattan.
  • $20,000 A trip to Italy for two to take a voice lesson with me and sing a song with me in a concert, or the opportunity to view rehearsals for the concerts.. I’ll also  show you my favorite locales in that city. 

    Not comfortable donating online?  We accept donations via check as well.  Please mail donations to BELTÀ, 1712 E. Riverside Dr., Suite 25, Austin, TX 78741.  Be sure to mark "Nicholas Simpson" in the memo line so that your support can be routed towards this project.