Nic has joined the faculty at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, teaching stagecraft and directing Così fan tutte there later in the fall. He is also at The Bard Conservatory of Music, teaching Opera Workshop and directing/designing their mainstage opera production in March, 2014. In February, 2014 he will direct a mainstage production at Boston University Opera Institute (Florencia en el Amazonas) and teach classes during his residency. In April, 2014 he will direct his production of Don Giovanni at Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music.
He has resigned his post at CCM, where he was Professor of Opera and Distinguished Artist-in-Residence since 2006.
La Finta Giardinera (San Francisco Opera Merola Program), L’elisir d’amore (Academy of Vocal Arts), Don Giovanni (CCM), Giulio Cesare in Egitto (CCM), El Amor Brujo/La Vida Breve (Manhattan School of Music), Cardillac (Opera Boston), Cendrillon (Miami University), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Indiana University), Of Mice and Men (CCM), Ballo delle Ingrate/Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda/Trouble in Tahiti (Portland Opera), Carmen (Boston Lyric Opera), L’amico Fritz (San Francisco Opera Merola Program), US premiere of Das Liebesverbot (Glimmerglass Opera), The Love for Three Oranges (Indiana University)
Così fan tutte at The Academy of Vocal Arts (November, 2013), Florencia en el Amazonas at Boston University Opera Institute (February, 2014), Payne Hollow at Bard Conservatory of Music (world premiere, March, 2014), Don Giovanni (April, 2014 at Opera Company of Philadelphia)
Nic Muni –
A native of New Jersey, Nic received his formal education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in vocal performance, conducting and theater work with Herbert Blau. He subsequently studied voice in Washington, D.C. with the late Todd Duncan, who created the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess, while at the same time pursuing various conducting projects such as Dido and Aeneas at the American University and working as an ensemble member of The Theater Lab with Tony Abeson.
New York City –
Relocating to New York City, he continued projects as a singer and conductor while beginning his work as a stage director. In 1982, he received a fellowship from the National Institute of Music Theater to study with renowned Metropolitan Opera singer and vocal coach Alberta Masiello in a unique program designed to coalesce musical and theatrical values. In 1983, he was appointed Principal Stage Director and Artistic Advisor to the Kentucky Opera, a position he held until 1988 when, until 1990, he served as Director of Drama with the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development Program.
In the late 1980’s he served as an assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle on productions of Lulu in Munich and Carmen in Chicago and as associate director to Peter Sellars in developing his acclaimed production of Cosí fan tutte.
Since 1985 he has been active with the National Endowment for the Arts as an on-site evaluator and panelist for company and project grants. He was on the recommending panel of ARIA (Awards Recognizing Individual Artistry), an organization which provided individual grants in the amount of $15,000 to promising young singers.
Artistic Director, Tulsa Opera –
From 1988-1993, he served as Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera. During his tenure there, he produced and directed two American premières: Verdi’s Le Trouvère (the French version of Il Trovatore), and Rossini’s Armida, both of which were broadcast on National Public Radio’s “World of Opera” series.
He also produced and directed a critically acclaimed production of La Traviata, which was purchased by New York City Opera and presented during their 1991 and 1992 seasons.
Another innovative project while at Tulsa was The Spanish Trilogy: new productions of Carmen, Fidelio, and Il Barbiere Di Siviglia integrated into a cycle through a single concept and scenic design. These productions have since been presented in Dallas, Baltimore, Edmonton, Columbus, Nashville, and Winnipeg.
As a freelance stage director, he has directed over two hundred productions with companies in North America, Europe, and Australia. His fruitful relationship with the Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera has resulted in two widely presented co-productions: Il Trovatore, which has been seen in Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Tulsa, Vancouver, Melbourne and at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and Norma, which has been presented in Seattle, Houston, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Palm Beach.
Additional work with Houston Grand Opera includes the world premiere of Jackie O, an opera based on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that was also presented at Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.
His work at the Canadian Opera Company includes Lulu (three act version), Rigoletto, which has also been presented in Edmonton, Tulsa, Ottawa, and Minnesota, Jenůfa, which was presented in the autumn of 1996 in Vancouver and at Cincinnati Opera in 1998, Macbeth and Pélleas et Mélisande. He was also the winner of a 2003 Dora Award for best theater production of the year (Jenůfa, at Canadian Opera Company)
For the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he has directed La Finta Giardiniera, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Iphigènie en Tauride. The Minnesota Opera is another company which fostered his early work, where he has directed Rusalka, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, and two world premieres: Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus, and Robert Moran’s From the Towers of the Moon.
The 1993-94 season marked his European debut at Stadttheater Gießen with La Fille du Régiment. Its success led to subsequent engagements at that same theater for productions of Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte, and The Rake’s Progress. In addition, he directed La Bohème at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria, Der fliegende Holländer at Opera Ireland, Street Scene at Anhaltisches Theater Dessau in collaboration with the Kurt Weill International Festival, the world premiere of Lorenzo Ferraro’s La Conquista at The Prague National Theater, Tosca at Theater Erfurt and a world premiere version of Show Boat at Stadttheater Bern.
The 1993 season also marked debuts with Boston Lyric Opera with the American premiere of the Neopolitan version of Bellini’s I Puritani. In what is considered one of his most interesting projects, he directed a unique chamber version of Berg’s Wozzeck in a co-production of the Banff Center for the Arts and Montreal Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne.
Artistic Director, Cincinnati Opera —
In 1996 Nic was appointed Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera Association, which boasts an impressive heritage of opera — founded in 1920, it is the second oldest company in America. COA is a summer festival, presenting four productions during the months of June and July in Music Hall (an historic theater seating 3,400) and collaborating with the Cincinnati Symphony, which plays for all its productions.
Cincinnati Opera experienced astonishing growth during his tenure, including a doubling of the company budget, expansion of the repertoire, creation and presentation of new productions and the successful completion of The Festival Campaign, a $12 million fundraising effort. He forged a new relationship with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, which has recently blossomed into an endowed program called Opera Fusion; he began a community-wide, very popular lecture series called Opera Rap which continues to this day; in his first year on the job he spearheaded a $1 million fundraising effort for technical improvements to the theater and state-of-the-art lighting equipment; he re-instated and revitalized a Young Artists Training Program. Profiles in every major opera journal (Opera News, OPERA, Opernwelt, Opera Now, International Arts Magazine) all attest to the impressive growth and quality under his leadership. He was the 2003 winner of the Cincinnati Post’s Post-Corbett Award for Individual Artist of the Year.
Company premieres: Brundibár, Different Fields, Jenůfa, The Turn of the Screw, Pelléas et Mélisande, Bluebeard’s Castle, Erwartung, Nabucco, Dead Man Walking, Elektra, La Voix humaine, The Seven Deadly Sins, Medusa (world stage premiere), Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Maids (U.S. premiere) and Margaret Garner (world premiere).
New Productions: Brundibár, Different Fields, Don Giovanni, Faust, The Turn of the Screw, Salome, Nabucco, Elektra, La Voix humaine, The Seven Deadly Sins, Medusa, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Maids and Margaret Garner.
CCM (College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati) –
In 2006 he was appointed Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at CCM where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2010 and where he taught an advanced Acting Class for singers, a course in Professional Development and a seminar in Stage Directing in addition to mentoring design students and serving as stage director. His productions at CCM include: The Crucible, Albert Herring, Werther, Une éducation manquée/Le pauvre matelot, Assassins, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cosí fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Postcard from Morocco, Of Mice and Men, Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Don Giovanni. His focus on training of young artists has brought him to work with the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Music Academy of the West, Wolf Trap Opera, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Atlantic Music Festival, Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Indiana University, Montclair State University, University of California at Humboldt, Rising Star Festival and Miami University.