Making her mark as an "especially impressive" (The New York Times) soprano, Australian/American Nola Richardson has won First Prize in all three major American competitions focused on the music of J.S. Bach (Bethlehem Bach, 2016; Audrey Rooney Bach, 2018; Grand Rapids Symphony Linn Maxwell Keller Award, 2019). These honors have catapulted her to the forefront of Baroque ensembles and orchestras around the country, where she has been praised for her "astonishing balance and accuracy,” “crystalline diction,” and “natural-sounding ease” (Washington Post).
Nola’s 2019-2020 season will feature her debuts with the Seattle Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony (Handel Messiah), Philharmonia Baroque (Bach Coffee Cantata), Tenet (in concert with American violinist Hilary Hahn), Mineola Choral Society (Haydn Creation), Bach Akademie Charlotte, and an appearance at the Leipzig Bach Festival 2020 as a soloist with the Bethlehem Bach Society. She will make her stage debut next summer at the Caramoor Festival in Rameau’s Dardanus, directed by Julian Wachner and James Darrah. Return solo engagements include the American Bach Soloists, American Classical Orchestra (Scarlatti Christmas Cantata), Colorado Bach Ensemble, Madison Bach Ensemble, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Seraphic Fire, and the Clarion Music Society.
The 2018-2019 season featured debuts with the Grand Rapids Symphony (Bach Mass in A), the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado (Bach Cantata 51; Monteverdi Orfeo), and appearances with the American Classical Orchestra (Bach Cantata 147), Baltimore Choral Arts Society (Brahms Requiem), and the Master Chorale of South Florida (Haydn Creation). Her debut that season at the Kennedy Center with Opera Lafayette (Fraarte in Handel Radamisto) drew praise for her “particularly appealing freshness and directness” (Washington Post).
Ms. Richardson has also made appearances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, the Colorado Symphony, and the Madison Bach Musicians (Belinda in Dido and Aeneas); sang the premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Carroll in Numberland (alongside soprano Dawn Upshaw) at Tanglewood; and gave a recital at the National Cathedral with Baroque trumpeter Josh Cohen and ACRONYM. Her performances as Maria Magdalena in Handel La Resurrezione and a program of French Baroque music with the American Bach Soloists drew praise for her "lusciously polished... exemplary impassioned singing" (San Francisco Classical Voice).
A frequent of Mozart operatic roles, she has sung Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Madame Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor) with Bel Cantanti Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Maryland Concert Opera, Gianetta in L'elisir D'amore with Emerald City Opera, and gave a “standout” performance (Opera News) as the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Clarion Music Society.
As a dedicated ensemble and chamber musician, Nola frequently appears with GRAMMY® nominated professional choirs Seraphic Fire (with whom she has performed solos at the Aspen Music Festival under conductors Robert Spano and Xian Zhang), the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and the Clarion Music Society, with whom she went on an international tour of Handel Semele with The English Concert and Harry Bicket.
An Australian by birth, Nola has spent most of her life in the US. She holds a BM from Illinois Wesleyan University and dual MM degrees in Vocal Performance and Early Music from the Peabody Conservatory. She was a young artist with the Boston Early Music Festival, a vocal fellow at Tanglewood, a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest, and most recently, a Carmel Bach Festival Virginia Best Adams Fellow in 2019. Nola attended the Institute of Sacred Music Program and is currently finishing her DMA at Yale on a full scholarship.