Opera singer Nicholas Newton
Vocal Performance Major
School of Music & Dance

Nicholas Newton

Nicholas Newton is a senior vocal performance major at SDSU. He grew up in a musical household singing a variety of genres that included gospel, jazz, and musical theatre. After he graduated from high school, he was contemplating majoring in philosophy or psychology but ended up pursuing a music degree at San Diego City College. While applying to colleges, Nicholas took a masterclass with one of SDSU’s vocal professors, Laurinda Nikkel. In class with Nikkel, Nicholas found the reason he wanted to attend SDSU.

“I had gone to music school since I was in third grade, I thought, what else can I learn? But at my audition, they did a master class and she [Laurinda Nikkel] worked with me and I thought ‘Oh I know absolutely nothing.’ It was fun, I like to be challenged. She has taught me so much and she’s the reason why I am here.”

What does Newton wish more people knew or understood about opera?

“It’s hard to keep it fresh a lot of the time! I sing a lot of sad songs because baritones are always the ones who are chasing after someone, and I am not like that in real life. So, bringing up feelings that you may not even have is hard. It’s hard to perform those emotions over and over again and at the same time, keep them fresh. You really have to dig emotionally to keep the audience interested. The audience may think, ‘Oh, I’ve only heard it once so he must have only sang it once,’ but really I have performed it 50 times or more.”