Nicholas Jenkins

Nicholas Jenkins is one of the UK’s most dynamic young conductors of operatic and choral repertoire. 2015-16 engagements included conducting Mesdames de la Halle (Opéra de Lyon), Mignon (New Sussex Opera), Carmen (Blackheath Halls), as well as Chorus Master for Platée (Opéra de Paris) and Iris (Opera Holland Park). During 2016-17 he conducts Der Freischütz (Blackheath Halls) and is Associate Conductor / Chorus Master for La Rondine (Opera Holland Park); he is also assistant conductor to Marc Minkowski for Armide (Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra de Bordeaux), and to Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for Tosca (Baden-Baden).

Opera conducting includes L’Ile de Tulipatan, Der Jasager, Mesdames de la Halle (Opéra de Lyon), Don Quichotte (La Monnaie), 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, 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 Petite Messe Solennelle (Berlin Radialsystem, Bregenz Festival, Opéra de Dijon, Luxembourg Grand Théâtre, Paris Opéra-Comique).

Nicholas Jenkins 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), and Philharmonia Chorus. He was Interim Chorus Master to Dutch National Opera with whom he has prepared Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata, Armide, and L’Étoile.

He has worked extensively as assistant conductor to Marc Minkowski at Opéra de Paris, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris Opéra-Comique, La Monnaie, Wiener Staatsoper, and the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals. He has also been assistant conductor to Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, Dutch National Opera, Opera North, Opera Rara, Théâtre du Châtelet and Salzburg Festival, assisting conductors including Sir Mark Elder, David Parry, and Sir Simon Rattle (Carmen, Manon Lescaut, Der Rosenkavalier).

“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

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