Nicolle Foland

The San Francisco Chronicle has praised Nicolle Foland as “a singer who boasts a beautiful tone—accurate and clear from a lusty lower register up through the crystalline high notes—an eloquent way with a melodic phrase, and, to top it off, a stage presence both elegant and alluring." Ms. Foland's 2013-14 season includes the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzer on San Francisco's Music at Meyer Series, a concert for Livermore Valley Opera, a night of opera with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony and an appearance at the 2014 Opera America Conference presenting a piece from Houston Grand Opera's recent premiere of Past the Checkpoint by composer David Hanlon. Her 2012-13 season highlight was a debut with Sacramento Opera singing the role of Nella in Gianni Schicchi as well as four Puccini arias in Puccini and His Muses. Earlier in the season, she performed a concert for the Napa Valley Opera House Association at the Mondavi Winery. The 2011-12 season included a recital on the A. Jess Shenson Recital Series at Stanford University and a debut for the San Francisco Ballet's opening gala singing Handel's "Lascia ch'io pianga" for a Helgi Tomasson choreographed classic. In the 2010-11 season she made a return to Opera Colorado as a Wood Nymph in Rusalka, a role in which she began her career with the San Francisco Opera. The season also included a recital in Sacramento, a performance of Ravel's Shéhérazade with the Redwood Symphony as well as several benefit concert appearances for the Lung Cancer Foundation.

Her 2009-2010 season began with an appearance at the Music in May Chamber Music Festival performing works by Jake Heggie, and she finished her season with a debut at Virginia Opera singing the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She also sang on benefit concerts throughout the season. 

In 2008-09 she began her season with a debut at the Princeton Festival singing Mimi in La bohème. She returned to the Mendocino Music Festival as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and made her debut there as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. A favorite in Telluride, she performed as the featured artist on the 35th Anniversary Gala for the Telluride Chamber Music Festival. She appeared with Utah Opera as the Countess and finishes the season making her debut with Opera Colorado in her first Fiordiligi in Cosí fan tutte.

Ms. Foland has a long-standing relationship with San Francisco Opera that began when she was a member of the prestigious Adler Fellowship program. She received great acclaim as Musetta in San Francisco Opera's highly successful 1996 production of La bohème, and she has since returned to the company as the Countess, Donna Anna, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Micaela in Carmen, Virtue in a new production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, multiple roles in Harvey Milk, and Freia in Das Rheingold. In addition, she appeared under the company’s auspices in a joint concert with Placido Domingo and sang Tina in the Opera Center production of Dominick Argento’s Aspern Papers, a West Coast premiere.

Nicolle Foland has appeared with leading opera theaters throughout North America. She made a highly-acclaimed debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Violetta in La Traviata, and later she repeated this role for her debuts with Houston Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Utah Opera. Her debut with the Santa Fe Opera was in the role of Sifare in a new production of Mitridate, re di Ponto. Ms. Foland has also appeared at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, and New York City Opera in performances of the Countess and with Minnesota Opera in her first performances of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello. She made her debuts with Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Baltimore Opera, and Opera Bilbao in Spain as Musetta. She also appeared as the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte for Los Angeles Opera. She made her debut with Cincinnati Opera as Micaela and has also sung the role at Michigan Opera Theatre, Arizona Opera, and New York City Opera. She has sung Mimi in La bohème with Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Arizona Opera. As Donna Anna, she debuted at Palm Beach Opera, at Opera Thessaloniki in Greece, and made a return to sing the role at Boston Baroque. Her debut with Boston Baroque and Opera Boston was in the title role of Glück’s Alceste. She made her New York City Opera debut as Kitty Hart in the New York premiere of Dead Man Walking, the role she sang at the work’s world premiere in San Francisco.

Recent performances include Rosalinda with Opera Grand Rapids, Drusilla in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Central City Opera, and Fiordiligi in a concert version of Cosí fan tutte at the Mendocino Music Festival.

Ms. Foland appears frequently with leading symphony orchestras, including multiple appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, where she most recently sang the Fauré Requiem under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pierre Boulez was as a Flower Maiden in Parsifal, and she appeared as the featured soloist in gala concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra. She made her debut with the American Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center as Genièvre in a rare performance of Chausson’s Le Roi Arthus. She sang with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in an evening of Italian operatic arias and duet. Her first appearance with the Colorado Symphony was as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and she later appeared with the Symphony in a gala opera concert. Singing operas in concert, she has performed Desdemona with the Kentucky Symphony and Micaela with the Sioux City Symphony in her home state of Iowa. With the Marin Symphony she was soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, she sang Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the California Symphony, and made her debut with the Mendocino Festival Orchestra in Ravel’s Shéhérazade. She has subsequently appeared in Mendocino singing her debut in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.

Ms. Foland made her San Francisco solo recital debut in 1997 on the prestigious Schwabacher Debut Recital Series accompanied by Donald Runnicles, and she continues to present recitals throughout the United States, including on the acclaimed Bay Chamber Concerts Series in Rockport, Maine. She can be heard on the CD Faces of Love, a collection of songs by Jake Heggie on the BMG label, and has appeared at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and San Francisco’s Herbst Theater in an evening of his music. She can also be heard on the complete recording of Dead Man Walking on Erato.