Hailed as a “rich voiced, expressive mezzo-soprano” by San Francisco Classical Voice and “appealingly direct and honest in tone and bearing,” by Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe, Nina Yoshida Nelsen recently made her New York City Opera debut as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, conducted by George Manahan.
In the 2011-2012 season, Nina Yoshida Nelsen will make her debut with Sarasota Opera signing Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and she will make her Avery Fisher Hall debut singing Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ms. Nelsen will also be seen as the Mezzo Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Santa Barbara Symphony.
In the 2010-2011 season Nina was seen as the Mezzo Soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with the Santa Fe Concert Association, as the Mezzo Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Peoria Symphony and made her European debut singing Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
Nina made an important debut at Utah Opera in March of 2009, singing Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. The mezzo-soprano is the recipient of a 2008 Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner Vocal Competition. In 2006, Ms. Nelsen was a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is a 2009 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, where she studied with Bill Schuman. At AVA, her roles included: Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Smeton in Anna Bolena, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova, Annina in La traviata, Larina in Eugene Onegin, and Erika in Vanessa.
Other noteworthy recent engagements include: Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette with Opera New Jersey, Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible with Utah Festival Opera, the title role in Carmen and the role of Antonia’s Mother in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Komische Kammeroper of Munich, and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera Santa Barbara.
In concert, she has bowed as the mezzo soloist in “Encore! Encore!”, a gala concert for Livermore Valley Opera, and with the Magic Valley Symphony Orchestra for the debut performance of “Dances and Romances”, a Pops show for Mezzo-Soprano and French Horn, featuring Ms. Nelsen and her husband Jeff Nelsen.
Nina Yoshida Nelsen spent the 2004-2005 season as an Artist-In-Residence with Orange County Opera, where she performed the role of the Marquise de Berkenfeld in La fille du régiment in their educational outreach program. Ms. Nelsen made her debut with Opera Providence in 2002 as Tisbe in La cenerentola, and subsequently appeared with the company as Dorabella in their English version of Così fan tutte.
Other notable roles include Idamante in Idomeneo, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lulu in Lukas Foss’ The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, all of which she performed with the Opera Institute at Boston University.
In 2005, Ms. Nelsen was a National Finalist in the prestigious Loren L. Zachary Society Vocal Competition, and she was also a National Finalist in the 2006 and 2008 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. In 2004, Ms. Nelsen won first prize in the Performing Arts Foundation Vocal Competition, the Profant Foundation Vocal Competition and the Santa Barbara Foundation Vocal Competition.
Nina makes her home in Bloomington, Indiana, where she lives with her husband Jeff and their son Rhys.
Event: Madama Butterfly