Nicholas Jenkins

Nicholas Jenkins is a conductor and chorus master specializing in opera and the choral repertoire. During 2017-18 he has been Chorus Master to Glyndebourne for productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia, Cendrillon, Così fan tutte, Giulio Cesare, Hamlet (Brett Dean), Madama Butterfly, Pelléas et Mélisande, Der Rosenkavalier, Saul, La traviata and Vanessa. His 2018 projects include Chorus Master for Poulenc Sept Répons des Ténèbres and Rossini Stabat Mater (Philharmonia Chorus), Assistant Conductor to Ivor Bolton for The Rake’s Progress (Dutch National Opera), and he conducts Mozart Mass in C Minor (Greenwich) and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle (Berlin).

He studied at Merton College, Oxford, Trinity College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A trained singer, he has been guest chorus master to Chœur du Châtelet, English National Opera (Benvenuto Cellini), Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Grange Park Opera, Netherlands Radio Choir (Il trovatore, Mazeppa), Opera Holland Park (Aïda, Iris, La Rondine, Verdi Requiem), and Philharmonia Chorus. He was Chorus Master of the Chœur des Musiciens du Louvre 2009-2015 (Cendrillon, Dido and Aeneas, Die Feen, Die Fledermaus, Platée, various concerts), and was Interim Chorus Master to Dutch National Opera 2012-14 (Die Zauberflöte, La traviata, Armide and L’étoile).

His opera conducting engagements include L’Ile de Tulipatan, Der Jasager, Mesdames de la Halle (Opéra de Lyon), Don Quichotte (La Monnaie), La Rondine (Opera Holland Park), Edgar, Hugh the Drover, Idomeneo, Mignon, Mireille, Oberon, The Poisoned Kiss, Die Rheinnixen, Tobias and the Angel (New Sussex Opera), Carmen, Cendrillon, Le Comte Ory, Eugene Onegin, L’elisir d’amore, Der Freischütz, Idomeneo, Macbeth, Nabucco, Noye’s Fludde (Blackheath Halls), The Lily of the Valley (ROH Linbury), Così fan tutte (Théâtre Besançon), The Turn of the Screw (Dartington), as well as a staged Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle (Berlin Radialsystem, Bregenz Festival, Opéra de Dijon, Luxembourg Grand Théâtre, Paris Opéra-Comique).

He worked extensively as assistant conductor to Marc Minkowski at Opéra de Paris, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra-Comique, La Monnaie, Wiener Staatsoper, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. He has also assisted conductors including Ivor Bolton, Sir Mark Elder, David Parry and Sir Simon Rattle (Carmen in Salzburg, Manon Lescaut, Der Rosenkavalier and Tosca in Baden-Baden).


“The work showcases the Glyndebourne chorus, which was on magnificent form – a good augury for the tenure of Nicholas Jenkins, in his first season as chorus master.” Saul/Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera Magazine, October 2018

“Star of the show, however, is not a soloist but the all-singing, all-dancing chorus, under its new master Nicholas Jenkins, excelling itself in its exuberant alleluias.” Saul/Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Daily Telegraph, July 2018

“….the chorus under its new master Nicholas Jenkins sounded luminous in its humming serenade…” Madama Butterfly/Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Telegraph, May 2018

“Nicholas Jenkins marshalled his varied choral army with customary precision while working the orchestra equally hard, never unduly relaxing Weber’s tempers or selling his exhilarating sting lines short.” Der Freichutz/Blackheath Opera, Opera Magazine, September 2017

“Nicholas Jenkins’s young choristers surpass anything I have heard in this department at Holland Park in their triumphalist Hymn to the Sun.” Iris/Opera Holland Park, Sunday Times, June 2016

“The key to Idomeneo is its head-strong, forward motion…the Musical Director Nicholas Jenkins caught that urgency, motivating a strong cast to fling themselves into Mozart’s maelstrom of private and public emotion…at root it was the range and depth of Mozart’s choruses, sung with overwhelming power and beauty by Blackheath’s huge, all-aged community forces, that imprinted this Idomeneo on heart and mind.” Idomeneo/Blackheath Halls Opera, Opera Magazine, September 2015

“Nicholas Jenkins marshalled his musical forces effectively and chose a fine quartet of leads.” Idomeneo/Blackheath Halls Opera, The Sunday Times, July 2015

“Nicholas Jenkins, conducting the St Paul’s Sinfonia, produced utterly Weberian effects of sonority, jubilant explosions of scurrying violins and his uniquely ecstatic spiritual quality in vocal climaxes.” Oberon/New Sussex Opera, Opera Now, November 2014

“The players of St Paul’s Sinfonia responded admirably to Nicholas Jenkins’s sensitive, keenly dramatic traversal. Flexible and cultivated, with plenty of direction: his was a reading worthy both of Weber and of the gamble the company had made in mounting the enterprise. I should be keen to hear more of the conductor in such and indeed other repertoire.” Oberon/New Sussex Opera, Seen and Heard, November 2014

“St Paul’s Sinfonia played with terrific verve under Nicholas Jenkins.” L’Etoile/New Sussex Opera, Telegraph, November 2013

“New Sussex Opera’s pro-am performance may be rough round the edges, but it glows with enthusiasm, lovingly conducted by Nicholas Jenkins.” Edgar/New Sussex Opera, Telegraph, October 2012

“The St Paul’s Sinfonia played with gusto, conducted by Nicholas Jenkins whose passion for the work was evident.” Edgar/New Sussex Opera, Observer, October 2012

“…this was a treat, stylishly shaped under conductor Nicholas Jenkins, whose apprenticeship with Marc Minkowski showed to great effect.” Massenet: Cendrillon/Blackheath Concert Halls, Independent on Sunday, July 2012

“Much of the credit must go to the excellent musical direction of Nicholas Jenkins, who straightway establishes excellent harmony between stage and a very cramped pit.” Gounod: Mireille/New Sussex Opera, What’s On Stage, November 2011

“Singers and players perform with ghoulish glee under the baton of Nicholas Jenkins.” Britten: The Turn of the Screw/Dartington Festival, The Times

“This was surround-sound Vaughan Williams, sympathetically conducted by Nicholas Jenkins.” Vaughan Williams: Hugh the Drover/New Sussex Opera, Independent on Sunday

“A wonderful performance of a wonderful opera, marshalled with fluid grace by Nicholas Jenkins.” Tchaikowsky: Eugene Onegin/Blackheath Halls Opera, Classical Source

“The large cast was steered through with class and finesse by young conductor Nicholas Jenkins – just the sort of talent a small, ambitious company needs to help it progress.” Offenbach: Die Rheinnixen/New Sussex Opera, Opera Now

“In Nicholas Jenkins we have a future Furtwängler, rather than a Toscanini. Good luck to him.” Brahms: Symphony No 3/Helios Orchestra, Oxford Times

Opera Repertoire

Barber Vanessa Assistant Conductor
Bellini Norma Chorus Master
Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini Chorus Master
Bizet Carmen Conductor
Britten Noye’s Fludde Conductor
Britten The Turn of the Screw Conductor
Chabrier L’Étoile Conductor
Dean (Brett) Hamlet Chorus Master
Donizetti L’elisir d’amore Conductor
Dove Tobias and the Angel Conductor
Gluck Armide Chorus Master
Gounod Roméo et Juliette Assistant Conductor
Gounod Mireille Conductor
Handel Alcina Assistant Conductor
Handel Saul Chorus Master
Mascagni Iris Chorus Master
Massenet Cendrillon Conductor
Massenet Don Quichotte Conductor
Massenet Thaïs Chorus Master
Meyerbeer Les Huguenots Assistant Conductor
Mozart Così fan tutte Conductor
Mozart Idomeneo Conductor
Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail Assistant Conductor
Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro Chorus Master
Mozart Die Zauberflöte Chorus Master
Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann Assistant Conductor
Offenbach L’Ile de Tulipatan Conductor
Offenbach Fantasio Assistant Conductor
Offenbach Mesdames de la Halle Conductor
Offenbach Die Rheinnixen Conductor
Offenbach Vert-Vert Assistant Conductor
Puccini Edgar (4 Act Version) Conductor
Puccini Madama Butterfly Chorus Master
Puccini Manon Lescaut Chorus Master
Puccini La Rondine Conductor
Puccini Tosca Assistant Conductor
Purcell Dido and Aeneas Conductor
Rameau Platée Assistant Conductor
Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia Chorus Master
Rossini La Cenerentola Assistant Conductor
Rossini Le Comte Ory Conductor
Stravinsky The Rake's Progress Assistant Conductor
Strauss (Johann) Die Fledermaus Chorus Master
Strauss (Richard) Der Rosenkavalier Assistant Conductor
Tchaikovsky Mazeppa Chorus Master
Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin Conductor
Thomas Mignon Conductor
Vaughan Williams Hugh the Drover Conductor
Vaughan Williams The Poisoned Kiss Conductor
Verdi Aida Chorus Master
Verdi Macbeth Conductor
Verdi Nabucco Conductor
Verdi La Traviata Assistant Conductor
Verdi Il Trovatore Assistant Conductor
Wagner Die Feen Assistant Conductor
Weber Der Freischütz Conductor
Weber Oberon Conductor
Weill Der Jasager Conductor
Weill The Seven Deadly Sins Conductor