Baritone Nicolai Janitzky is a native of Northern California, having grown up near Sacramento. He was exposed to the operatic sound at an early age. His father was a choir director at the local Russian Orthodox Church, and, as a child, Nicolai took part in choir singing. At the same time, his ear began absorbing the sounds of the liturgical chanting, which he credits to later developing an interest in Opera. As a teenager, he found a record of the great Basso Nicolai Ghiarov, and was instantly hooked on Opera. His interests soon also spread to Art song and Lieder, which also became an important part of his career.
In college at the University of California Davis, he studied History, International Relations, Russian Studies, and Music, but was soon getting involved with university choral groups and Opera productions with community theaters in the area. His early roles included Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Marcello in La Bohème, among others. He was soon performing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended the Music Academy of the West, where he studied with Marilyn Horne and Warren Jones. Soon after he joined the Yale University Opera Program, where he worked with Richard Cross and participated in masterclasses with Sherrill Milnes and Renata Scotto. In 2002, as an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera, he went on in short notice, as the title role of Eugene Onegin.
Since then, he has worked with many companies in North America, including San Francisco Opera, National Opera in Washington D.C., San Diego Opera, and New York City Opera. Among the roles he has sung are Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore, Germont in La Traviata, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Silvio in I Pagliacci, Valentin in Faust, and Tchelkalov in Boris Gudunov. In 2012, he made his International Debut in Hong Kong as Enrico in Lucio di Lammermoor. On the Concert Stage, he has performed as Baritone soloist in the Brahms Requiem, Carmina Burana, and Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death. As a winner in the Marilyn Horne Art Song Foundation Awards, he made his recital debut in New York City at Weill Hall. He was also a winner in the George London Foundation Awards, and a Finalist with the Operalia International Vocal Competition.
Above all he enjoys sharing his gift in music. He currently resides in the Chicago area with his wife (an elementary school music teacher) and two young children. Since 2011, he has been a Core Supplementary Chorister with the Chicago Lyric Opera, and has sung in over 30 productions. When not performing, he enjoys travel, a walk in the woods, reading about history, watching an artsy film (or a good soccer game) and, of course, spending time with his family.
Cruda, funesta smania from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor
Hong Kong Opera
La pietade in suo favore from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor
Diablo Symphony Orchestra, Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death -IV The Field Marshall
Movement I- Lullaby
Movement III- Trpak
Aleko's Cavatina from Aleko by Rachmaninoff
“Germont was sung by Nicolai Janitzky- another Festival Opera debut-and he’s a real find. Deploying sturdy Patrician tone and elegant musical line, Janitzky made his Act II aria, “Di Provenza il mar, il suol” one of the evening’s sublime high points.” (San Jose Mercury News)
“Nicolai Janitzky sang the role of Valentin with a clean, focused sound…His achievements were all the more remarkable given that he sang a good part of the role lying on stage.” (Yale News)
“The mellifluous voice that baritone Nicolai Janitzky brought to the American consul Sharpless was most welcome.” (San Francisco Classical Voice)
“Nicolai Janitzky was a sturdy, appealing Marcello.” (East Bay Times)
2895 Caymen Lane
Belvidere, IL 61008
Home Telephone: +1 815 975 9110
Mobile Telephone: +1 815 315 3119
Published by Nicolai Janitzky 2020
Title Page: San Diego Opera: Photo by Ken Howard
La Traviata courtesy of Bob Shomler