Douglas McNicol studied music and drama at Flinders University in South Australia, voice at the Elder Conservatorium and spent a year as a member of Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program before undertaking extensive vocal study in Europe. He began his professional singing career at the State Opera of South Australia, making his debut with The Australian Opera, now Opera Australia, in 1991. A Churchill Fellow, Douglas has also won the Australian Singing Competition, and the National Opera Festival Award.
During his career he has worked for all the major opera companies and orchestras in Australia and New Zealand. Regarded as one of Australia’s most versatile and experienced baritones, notable engagements include the world premiere seasons of Richard Mills’ opera, The Love of the Nightingale presented by the Perth International Arts Festival and the West Australian Opera in Perth, with seasons following in Brisbane and Melbourne, Sharpless for Opera Australia (available on DVD) and The Four Villains in the Tales of Hoffmann (SOSA).
Roles which he has performed to high acclaim include Verdi’s Amonasro (Aida), Don Carlo (La forza del destino), Rigoletto, Ford (Falstaff), Giorgio Germont (La Traviata), Puccini’s Scarpia (Tosca), Jack Rance (La fanciulla del West), Marcello (La bohème), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Leporello (Don Giovanni), Papageno (Magic Flute), Figaro and Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) as well as Don Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Escamillo (Carmen), Dr Falke (Die Fledermaus), Zurga (The Pearlfishers) and Pooh Bah (The Mikado).
His engagement to sing the role of Scarpia in Tosca at Canterbury Opera, New Zealand, which was an outstanding success, represented the beginning of a move towards more dramatic repertoire including such roles as Don Carlo (La forza del destino) and Amonasro. He has also gained a reputation for excellence in contemporary opera, performing such roles as the Lieutenant in John Haddock’s opera, Madeline Lee for Opera Australia and Owen Hart in the Australian premiere of Dead Man Walking for SOSA.
As a concert artist Douglas has a wide repertoire of oratorio and concert works. He has appeared with the Melbourne, Adelaide, Queensland, and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as performing concerts in Italy and the UK, as a guest artist at ‘Opera Under The Stars’ in Broome, and with numerous choral societies and chamber music ensembles.
His concert repertoire includes Bach’s Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, Mass in B Minor and Christus in St John and Matthew Passions; Acis and Galatea; The Tempest; The Childhood of Christ; Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, and the Fauré, Brahms and Mozart Requiems, Handel’s Messiah and The Bells by Rachmaninov.
Douglas’ recent engagements include Scarpia (Tosca),his role debut as Jack Rance (La fanciulla del West) for Opera Queensland, Faure’s Requiem with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Captain Gardner (Moby Dick), Peter (Hansel and Gretel), The Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann, Pizzaro (Fidelio) and Jupiter (Orpheus in the Underworld) SOSA, the Count (The Marriage of Figaro) for the Brisbane Festival, Speaker (The Magic Flute) for Opera Australia, and St. John Passion with the Adelaide Chamber Singers, for SOSA.
2013 engagements will include Giorgio Germont (La Traviata) for West Australian Opera, Jokanaan (Salome), and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) for State Opera of South Australia and Iago (Otello) for Opera Queensland.