As Jupiter, Nicolas Testé unleashed a resonant, velvety bass worthy of a god.
French bass Nicolas Testé studied piano, bassoon, and music history in Paris before embarking on a career as a singer. Having studied at the Opéra National de Paris and Centre de Formation Lyrique, in 1998 he was awarded with the Second Prize at the “Voix Nouvelles” competition.
Nicolas Testé’s 2020/21 season has been heavily affected by COVID-19 cancellations, with the exception of the Royal Affairs concerts in Sofia and the livestreamed performance of the same program from Hanover, as well as his Giorgio Talbot in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Opernhaus Zürich in a special production in which the conductor, orchestra and chorus livestreamed their performance from a different building to the opera house, and only the soloists sung on stage. The premiere of these performances was livestreamed worldwide.
In January of 2021, barring cancellation, Mr. Testé will star as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at the Opéra National de Paris and is expected to reprise the role of Colline in La Bohème at The Metropolitan Opera in 2022.
Performances canceled due to the global pandemic include his Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande at Teatro alla Scala, a VERDIssimo concert in California and the majority of the Royal Affairs tour. Also cancelled was his Liège house debut as Claudius in Hamlet and his role debut as Goffredo in Il Pirata at The Metropolitan Opera.
In the 2019/20 season, Nicolas Testé returned to the role of Sir Giorgio in Bellini’s I Puritani at the Opéra Bastille. For his performance in the role at Teatro Real de Madrid, Diapason highlighted him as “one of the best singing basses on the international scene”. He also performed on the stage of La Scala as Frère Laurent in Bartlett Sher’s sumptuous production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Testé’s 2019/20 concert most notable concert appearance was the livestreamed Met Opera At-Home Gala with soprano Diana Damrau.
... Nicolas Testé shone as the handsome, implacable high priest Nourabad. His lean, forceful bass rang out with such security and idiomatic French style...
Christopher Corwin, Parterre.com
In his 2018/19 season, Nicolas Testé began his season at the Opéra national de Paris as Marcel in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots led by Michele Mariotti and returned to The Metropolitan Opera to star in Penny Woolcock’s production of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles as Nourabad, under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume, followed by a performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées as Hérode in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ. He travelled to Barcelona to sing Claudius in Thomas’ Hamlet at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, and returned to Paris in the spring for his highly anticipated debut as Sarastro in Robert Carsen’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. To end his season, Mr. Testé reprised his portrayal of Claudius in a concert version of Hamlet at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Nicolas Testé regularly performs in many world renowned opera houses such as The Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra national de Paris, Teatro di San Carlo, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and the Teatro La Fenice, as well as the Glyndebourne Festival and Chorégies d’Orange.
French bass Nicolas Testé was an excellent and tragic King Arkel. He rounded out a well-balanced cast in a hall that begs for more singing...
Lev Bratishenko, Montreal Gazette
His extensive repertoire comprises roles in Iphigénie en Aulide (Agamemnon), Roméo et Juliette (Frère Laurent), Manon (Des Grieux), Carmen (Zuniga), La Bohème (Colline), Samson et Dalila (Abimelech), Hamlet (Claudius), Il trovatore (Ferrando), Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro), Castor and Pollux (Jupiter), Faust (Méphistophélès), La Damnation de Faust (Méphistophélès), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Four Villains), and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Basilio), among others.
On DVD, Mr. Testé can be seen in Bellini’s I Puritani on BelAir Classiques and Naxos; Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles at The Metropolitan Opera, a recording nominated for a 2017 Grammy in the Best Opera Recording category, on Erato Records; Verdi’s La traviata at the Opéra National de Paris on Warner Classics; Gluck’s Iphigenie En Aulide and Iphigenie En Tauride and Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, both at De Nederlandse Opera on Opus Arte; and Berlioz’s Les Troyens led by Sir John Elliot Gardiner on Opus Arte.
His recordings include Fiamma del Belcanto with Diana Damrau, Piotr Beczala and Nicole Brandolino with the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino led by Gianandrea Noseda on Warner Classics; Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Philharmonie am Gasteig on Warner Classics; French Baroque music on Les musiques de Louis XIV, Vol 2 on Naïve; three fragments from Martinu’s Juliette with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on Supraphon; Bach: Cantatas, Vol. 3 on Soli Deo Gloria; Saint-Saëns’ Messe de Requiem; Partsongs with the Swiss-Italian Radio Orchestra on Chandos; and Gluck’s Alceste with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists led by Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Phillips.
In addition to numerous opera productions, Testé regularly performs with internationally renowned symphony orchestras. In November 2017, he embarked on a tour of Asia with soprano Diana Damrau, performing opera gala and recital programs with concerts in Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, and Beijing. In the spring of 2018, Testé and Damrau also embarked on their VERDIssimo tour, a program including arias, duets, and overtures from some of Verdi’s most beloved operas.