American bass-baritone, Robert McNichols, Jr. has been making a name for himself as an “artist worthy of being noticed” (The Kansas City Star, 2010). Upcoming performances for Mr. McNichols include the role of Oloferno in the world premiere of The Borgia Infami with Winter Opera, and being a guest soloist with the Gateway Men's Chorus performing Vaughn-Williams' Five Mystical Songs. His most recent performances include being the baritone soloist in Manchester United Church's performance of The Last Seven Words of Christ, and the roles of Mr. Bascombe, Starkeeper, and Dr. Seldom in Union Avenue Opera's production of Carousel. He began the 2017 season as the Emcee for Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ community concert tour Opera Tastings, and as the Narrator for The Lincoln Portraits with the St. Louis Symphony. He also performed as co-producer, musical director, and soloist of A Classical Cabaret: Featuring excerpts of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with The Black Rep as part of their New Works Festival.
Mr. McNichols ended 2016 with being selected as an Regional Arts Commission Fellowship Artist Grant recipient. Another highlight of 2016 performance was singing Chucho in Lucrezia with St. Louis’ Gateway Opera, for which he was acclaimed for having a “booming bass” (Ladue News) that’s “rich and powerful” (Broadway World). He has also been proving himself to be a versatile performer through show-stopping performances as the Narrator in the Afro-punk-rock musical Passing Strange at the Edison Theatre (St. Louis) and Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate with Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (Kansas City, MO).
In 2015, Mr. McNichols showed his versatility as a performer, portraying roles such as the title character in Phillip Hayes Dean's two-man play Paul Robeson with the St. Louis Black Repertory Company, as well as Tonton Julian in the company’s award-winning production of Once on This Island. The success of Mr. McNichols’ performances in Paul Robeson led him to reprise the role at the University of Southern Indiana Edwardsville.
In 2014, Mr. McNichols returned to Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Baron Douphol in La traviata, earning praise as “a welcome presence on the stage…with a lush bass-baritone voice” (KC Independent). Other highlights from 2014 include Fred and Ken in Smokey Joe’s Cafe with New Theater Restaurant (Overland Park, KS), the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with Missouri Southern State University, and the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Lawrence Civic Choir.
Notable highlights from 2013 are Mr. McNichols’ debuts including Springfield Regional Opera as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Booker T. Washington in Ragtime with Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, and Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime with Theatre Lawrence.
Mr. McNichols is a graduate of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s apprentice program, where his performances included Masetto in Don Giovanni and the dual roles of Jim and Daniel in the world premiere of the opera John Brown by Kirke Mechem.
Updated April 2017
"McNichols performs the song with feeling and intention, and gives an equally meaningful treatment to a trio of gospel numbers that Robeson sang in his stage debut."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 2015
"His voice is rich and powerful and he's a natural comic. A sturdily built man, he can scamper about the stage with great agility, occasionally swinging into a few tango steps. His glee is radiantly apparent as he is promised one bag of gold after another should his scheme be successful."
Broadway World, April 2016
"Duets, especially, found voices working to match each other. A good example was Robert McNichols (as Randolph), guest artist with a substantial opera pedigree, joining Kristen Swenson (Diana) in the “Randy, we can marry now” duet near the show’s end."
Lincoln Journal Star, February 2015
"Among the other singers I especially liked ... the lush bass-baritone of Robert McNichols Jr., always a welcome presence on the Lyric stage."
The Independent, September 2014