Biography

Praised by the New York Times as “most impressive,” “gorgeous,” “lovely,” “precise, brightly projected” and for her “depth and nuance,” Nacole Palmer is a soprano to watch in the early music scene, and is equally at home on the operatic and recital stages. The Yale Herald lauded her “distinguished grace” and declared that Ms. Palmer’s arias were “delivered with such pure emotion that the audience [had] no recourse but to feel her heartache.”

Ms. Palmer’s first professional recording collaboration was released last year on the NAXOS label; she joins The Trinity Choir as Soprano Soloist for three Haydn masses (Theresienmesse, Schöpfungsmesse, and Harmoniemesse) conducted by Jane Glover. Ms. Palmer also performed the Theresien and Schöpfungs Masses, as well as Handel’s Messiah, with Ms. Glover and Rebel Baroque Orchestra. Engagements this season include Bach's B minor Mass with the widely acclaimed Seraphic Fire, Handel’s Messiah in Palm Springs, Lalande's Tenebrae in New York City, and the world-debut of the song cycle Songs of Ishmael, also in New York City. (See below or click NEWS for more.)

A frequent oratorio and concert soloist, Ms. Palmer made her acclaimed Weill Hall at Carnegie debut with the Clarion Music Society, led by Steven Fox. For the past six years, Ms. Palmer regularly performed as a soloist at New York’s Trinity Wall Street Church; her orchestral solo credits there include Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Vesperae solennes de Domenica, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Michael Haydn’s Requiem, Purcell’s Dioclesian and King Arthur, Carissimi’s Jephte, and the cantatas and masses of Bach. Conducted by Dr. Owen Burdick, all of these performances, and more, were broadcast live on WQXR, WNYC, and via live webcast. Ms. Palmer also joined the 4x4 Baroque Music Festival and music director Avi Stein last year in an exciting one-on-a-part rendition of Handel’s complete Dixit Dominus.

A gifted operatic actor and lover of the stage, Ms. Palmer’s favorite roles include Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) and La Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) with the Yale College Opera Company, as well as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Clorinda (Il Combattimento di Tancredi), the Foreign Woman (The Consul), and Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. At Trinity Wall Street, Ms. Palmer sang the role of Kitty Hart in scenes from Dead Man Walking, with Frederica von Stade and Joyce Di Donato, accompanied by composer Jake Heggie.

Particularly skilled in the interpretation of new music, Ms. Palmer’s contemporary credits include Stephen Albert’s To Wake the Dead and Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, both performed in the Aspen Music Festival concert series. Other contemporary credits include Karim Al-Zand’s song cycle for soprano and chamber ensemble, Winter Scenes, with the Rice University faculty concert series, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s tour-de-force trio for women, Trumpeter, performed in recital in New York City and recorded in 2007. Last October, Ms. Palmer performed the deeply anticipated world debut of a work written for herself and fellow soprano Molly Quinn by composer / conductor James Blachly. The song cycle, Songs of Ishmael, features texts from Melville’s Moby Dick. Listen to an early recording of one of the pieces, Amours in the Deep.

Ms. Palmer is the winner of several competitions, including the NY Oratorio Society Competition (Best Baroque Performance and Best Classical Performance), the Quinnipiac Vocal Competition (First Place), the Houston Young Soloist Competition (First Place), and the William Waite Concerto Competition of Yale University (Third Place). She was a Fellowship Recipient in the Vocal Chamber Music program at the Aspen Music Festival. A graduate of Yale University (B.A.) and Rice University (M.M.), Ms. Palmer developed a love of singing classical music during her experiences singing as a youth under the batons of Stephen J. Ortlip and the late Robert Shaw in her native Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Palmer counts Maestro Shaw among her most significant influences, along with her voice teachers and mentors: Meagan Miller, Lili Chookasian, Sharon Stephenson, and present teacher W. Stephen Smith.

For a printer-friendly version of Nacole Palmer’s complete resumé, download it here.