Montreal Gazette:

‘Stars are in alignment for Opéra de Montréal’s Eugene Onegin. Etienne Dupuis and Nicole Car's marriage leads to "more fun, more instant onstage chemistry.” The Tchaikovsky opera opens Sept. 14 in Place des Arts.’

Click HERE to read the feature.


Interview with Journal Métro


Radio interview with ICI Première

“Nicole Car et Étienne Dupuis, l’amour de l’opéra à la vie comme à la scène” - interview by Pénélope McQuade - 30 August 2019

Click HERE to hear the podcast.


Etienne Dupuis and Nicole Car : Opera’s New Power Couple

Click HERE to read the feature.


Interview with L’Opéra - Revue québécoise d’art lyrique

“Enchaînant les rôles sur les plus grandes scènes lyriques internationales, Étienne Dupuis et Nicole Car sont désormais connu du public comme le couple lyrique de l’heure.”

Click HERE to read the feature online.


“Nicole Car, sur la route de Verdi”

Le 20 août 2019 par Vincent Guillemin

Link to interview:


Interview with the Sydney Morning Herald

“From Paris to Peppa Pig: Nicole Car juggles Opera, love and family”

Read the interview online!


Interview with Limelight Magazine


In love with opera and each other, Nicole Car and her baritone husband Etienne Dupuis are in Australia for a recital tour, while Car also sings Peter Grimes in Concert with SSO.”

Link to interview:


Interview with France Musiques

Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis were interviewed by the French radio channel France Musiques. The complete interview is available as podcast on the following link:


Cover interview Opéra Magazine

Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis are featured on the cover of the June 2019 issue of the French Opéra Magazine. You can read an excerpt from the interview on the following link:

To buy the magazine please click on


Helpmann Nominations 2015 Announced

Simon Parris | Man In Chair | Jun 22, 2015

Opera Australia scored a decent number of acting nominations, with two each for Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Nicole Car. On the brink of stardom, Car is set to make her Covent Garden debut later this year. Sir David McVicar’s productions of Faust electrified Sydney this past summer, and earned nomination for Best Opera and performance nods for visiting US tenor Michael Fabiano as well as Rhode and Car. Hopefully this production will be seen in Melbourne next year.



  • ANNA DEVIN Faramondo Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

  • ANNA STARUSHKEVYCH Faramondo, Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

  • NICOLE CAR Don Giovanni, Opera Australia

  • TARYN FIEBIG Don Giovanni, Opera Australia


  • CAITLIN HULCUP Iphigenie en Tauride, Pinchgut Opera

  • JENNIFER RIVERA Faramondo, Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

  • LATONIA MOORE Aida – Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Opera Australia

  • NICOLE CAR Faust, Opera Australia


Nicole Car to make Covent Garden debut

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Apr 16, 2015

Young Australian soprano is called up by Royal Opera House to reprise her Onegin triumph.

It has been announced that Australian soprano Nicole Car will reprise the role of Tatyana in Kasper Holten’s insightful production of Eugene Onegin at London’s Royal Opera House next year. Car played the role in the production for Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne in 2014 to great acclaim but this will be her Covent Garden debut. She is also lined up to sing Micaela in Carmen.

Reviewing her “stand out” performance the Sydney production of Onegin, Limelight noted: “Nicole Car's Tatyana is simple, thoughtful, passionate and bookish all at once. She never overplays her hand, yet convinces throughout as she runs the emotional gamut. Her vocal performance is remarkable. Her rich, clean soprano is evenly produced across the full range, never losing power at the bottom, never forcing at the top, and crucially connected at all times to the character... The letter scene is at the heart of Holten’s production (as it should be) and here Car is magnificent.”

The Royal Opera House revealed its impressive 2015-2016 season yesterday, which will include a remarkable eight new commissions including the premiere of a new work by Georg Friedrich Haas entitled Morgen und Abend. The 11 new productions will include Chabrier’s deliciously zany L’Étoile and Enescu’s powerful Oedipe, both works new to the ROH. Expect many of these to appear on Australian cinema screens in the year ahead.

Star names include Juan Diego Flórez who will debut in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner and co-directed by Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, whose dancers will appear onstage. Joyce DiDonato will play Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther for the first time while Bryn Terfel will debut in the lead role of Musorgsky’s tortured Tsar, Boris Godunov.

An alumni of the Victorian College of the Arts, Car went on to win the 2007 Herald-Sun Aria, the 2012 ASC Opera Award and the 2013 Neue Stimmen competition in Germany. Opera Australia patrons have had the chance of late to see her as Mimì, Tatyana and Donna Elvira as well as, most recently, Marguerite in Faust


At home with: Opera Australia soprano Nicole Car

Mercedes Maguire | The Daily Telegraph - | Feb 28, 2015

OPERA singer Nicole Car will be away from home performing for seven months this year. So when she is home, the Opera Australia soprano wants her surroundings just right.

The young star bought her warehouse conversion apartment with husband, Robin Stephenson, two years ago, attracted by the 4.3m ceilings.


Opera singer Nicole Car


Warehouse conversion in Surry Hills with husband, engineer Robin Stephenson

Favourite thing

My gowns. Being a singer, I have a lot of gowns and I'm fortunate to have had quite a few made by Melbourne designer, Linda Britten - she knows how to dress opera singers


As our place is mostly white walls and concrete floors, I love to introduce bursts of colour particularly through lines and geometric prints. Colour softens the warehouse look and keeping the foundation basic allows me to make changes easily.

Home is

A place where I belong when I'm not travelling.

Nicole admits the high ceilings are also perfect for acoustics, particularly in the corridor.

But apart from a few late night renditions of On My Own from Les Miserables with friends, she’s reluctant to put her neighbours through her soprano training.

“When I saw this place, I absolutely fell in love with it,” Nicole says.

“It was the first apartment we had bid on at auction and it was quite daunting, but when we got it, I knew it was just meant to be.

“It had so much natural light and it didn’t need any work, we could just move in.”

Despite the ready-to-move-in factor, Nicole says they plan to make improvements this year, focusing on the bathroom, the layout and somewhere to put in a large wardrobe to fit her growing collection of Linda Britten-designed opera gowns.

Nicole says another big attraction was the location, walking distance to the Opera Centre, where she rehearses, and close to the restaurants and cafes she loves to visit.

“I’m not going to be home much this year, I’m off to Europe to sing, but I want it to be just right for when I am here,” she says.

“I like my home to be relaxed and comfortable but also somewhere we can entertain our friends easily, because I love cooking.”


My engagement ring is a 1920s antique and I’ve never seen another quite like it.

Engagement ring. Opera singer Nicole Car at home with her favourite things. Surry Hills.  Source:  News Limited.

Engagement ring. Opera singer Nicole Car at home with her favourite things. Surry Hills. Source: News Limited.

Mulberry bag

I’m a bag fiend and I travel a lot so this weekender fulfils my needs. And the leather is really soft.

Opening night cards

I keep all my opening night cards in a box. I love having memories of my shows, all the inside jokes and kind words.


I write all over my scores, so I love having my own copies whenever I sing.



They are by a New York artist we met in Rome called Daniele Genadry. I fell in love with her work and my husband commissioned her to make these pieces for me.

Pendant lights

We found these industrial lights and had to have them. It took nearly 12 months to get them working, but it was worth it.

Parker table

We found this mid-century Parker table on Gumtree. It’s perfect for apartment living because it’s small, but it has character too.

Pictures Bob Barker

Nominations for the 32nd Green Room Awards announced

Maxim Boon | Limelight Magazine | Feb 17, 2015


Opera: For Female Lead

  • Nicole Car – Tatyana (Eugene Onegin, Opera Australia)

  • Irina Dubrovskaya – Gilda (Rigoletto, Opera Australia)

  • Jane Ede – Mrs Alice Ford (Falstaff, Opera Australia)

Melbourne's annual awards ceremony for the performing arts names 2014's highest achievers. The nominations have been announced for the 32nd annual Green Room Awards. The annual prize-giving recognises the finest accomplishments of Australian-produced works, premiered in Melbourne, within the sphere of the performing arts. In total 57 awards across seven genres will be presented, including gongs for experimental performance, circus, independent theatre and cabaret, as well as the more mainstream theatre, opera and dance categories.

Inevitably Opera Australia dominated the Opera category, with nominations for eight of the nine awards up for grabs, but of their Melbourne offering last year it was Kasper Holten’s production of Tchiakovsky’s Eugene Onegin that garnered the most laurels, including nominations for Direction, Production, Conducting and performance with Nicole Car’s portrayal of Tatyana nominated for Best Female Lead and Sian Pendry nominated for Best Female in a Supporting Role for her performance as Olga


Nicole Car nominated for International Opera Awards

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Jan 15, 2015

Young Aussie soprano is ray of light in a generally bleak year for Australian opera. Australian soprano Nicole Car has been nominated for Best Young Singer in the annual International Awards as announced today. In a rather dispiriting list from a purely local perspective, Car (who thrilled audiences in Sydney and Melbourne last year in Kasper Holten's production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Sir David McVicar's production of Don Giovanni) is the main Australian nominee in a fairly Eurocentric collection of singers, companies and recordings. On a brighter note, Opera Australia are nominated for the second year running for Accesibility and Barrie Kosky’s Komische Oper Berlin is up for Best Company.

“It’s an unexpected honour – a lovely surprise to wake up to!" Car told Limelight. "The International Opera Awards tend to focus on European and American talent so it’s exciting to see Australian singers represented.” Guillaume Tourniaire, who worked with Car first on Eugene Onegin and is now conducting her in Faust for Opera Australia (opening February) was keen to highlight what makes her so unique. “The sweetness of her character, the sweetness of her voice and the flexibility of her voice all make Nicole special as an artist," he told us. "Her intelligence, too. For a conductor, I can have an idea in my mind, and I just have to show something for her to immediately realise what I want to hear. With some singers you have to explain things and rehearse them many times, but she understands everything the first time. Her instinct as a performer is very strong, and obviously she has an amazing technique and beauty of the voice as well."

"I remember when I was a very young pianist," he went on. "I was playing in Geneva when Renée Fleming was singing La Contessa, and I remember very clearly the impression I had at that moment when she sung for the first time. And I must say that I had the same impression the first time I heard Nicole singing – something so special, not only beautiful but very, very unique.”

Meanwhile, in the more experienced categories, the Best Female Singer pits Anna Netrebko against Joyce DiDonato with German soprano Anja Harteros the possible dark horse. The Male Singer category (won last year by Australian heldentenor Stuart Skelton) are a less obviously starry bunch with American tenor Lawrence Brownlee, British countertenor Iestyn Davies and German baritone Christian Gerhaher the possible front runners.

Christian Thielemann is probably the most fancied name among the Best Conductor nominations though Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner and Gianandrea Noseda could give him a run for his money. The directors' pack includes ‘Regie’ figures like Spain’s Calixto Bieito alongside more mainstream names like Canada’s Robert Carsen and the UK’s Richard Jones.

In the recordings categories Sony is the only major commercial company listed for a complete recording – in this case for their Marriage of Figaro from MusicAeterna, and Teodor Currentzis. The other contenders include the splendid recording of Handel’s Tamerlano with Xavier Sabata on Naïve and Offenbach’s charming Fantasio with Sarah Connolly in the title role on the ever-inspiring Opera Rara label. Recorded recitals include Joyce DiDonato's Limelight Award-winning Stella di Napoli on Warner Classics and Cecilia Bartoli's St. Petersburg on Decca.

Perhaps the most intriguing list, though, is the nominations for Rediscovered Work which comprises fascinating oddities such as Barbieri’s Los diamantes de la corona, Donizetti’s Les Martyrs (recording due out later this year), Faccio’s Amleto, Martinů’s What Men Live By, Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira and Saint-Saëns’ Les Barbares.

The jury of British, European and American opera critics and practitioners was chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine and included Peter Alward, Managing Director and Intendant of the Salzburg Easter Festival, Per Boye Hansen, Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Kathryn Harries, Director of the National Opera Studio, Evans Mirageas, Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera, Nicholas Payne, Director of Opera Europa, Hugh Canning, chief music critic for the UK’s Sunday Times and George Loomis from the International Herald Tribune.

Last year’s nominations included Stuart Skelton, several young Australians (soprano Helena Dix and baritone Duncan Rock were up for Best Young Singer) plus recognition for Barrie Kosky, Simone Young and the Melbourne Ring. At the April 26 awards ceremony in London it looks like Aussies will be putting most of their eggs in Car’s basket.

The full list of nominations is as follows:

Female Singer:

  • Joyce DiDonato

  • Anja Harteros

  • Liudmyla Monastyrska

  • Anna Netrebko

  • Anita Rachvelishvili

  • Sonya Yoncheva

Young Singer:

  • Angel Blue

  • David Butt Philip

  • Nicole Car

  • Aurelia Fabian

  • Justina Gringyte

  • Jennifer Johnson Cano

  • Ross Ramgobin

  • Nicky Spence

Verdi blockbuster and more McVicar for Opera Australia 2015

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Aug 12, 2014

The fresh meat in the Sydney summer season, then, is the Sir David McVicar Faust. The production, set in Franco-Prussian War era Paris of 1870, has brought the house down for ten years now overseas and will star 30-year-old American rising star tenor Michael Fabiano as Faust, Nicole Car making her role debut as Margarita, Giorgio Cauduro (this year’s excellent Rigoletto) as her brother Valentin and Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Mephistopheles. The UK’s Daily Telegraph said of it’s last outing: “if you can’t enjoy a performance as full-blooded as this one, then I fear you haven’t got the point of opera at all.” Bring it on…

The big new winter production for Sydney will be McVicar’s Marriage of Figaro (Melbourne gets it in the Spring). Sir David's latest thoughts on Mozart’s masterpiece are certain to be interesting (his Covent Garden staging is outstanding), and his cast is set to include international stars Dalibor Jenis (brooding hero of this year's Eugene Onegin) as the Count and Paolo Bordogna (this seasons riotous Rossinian Turk) as Figaro. Nicole Car will make her role debut as the Countess and Taryn Fiebig will play Susanna.

Opera Australia reveals lavish 2015 season

Barney Zwartz | Sydney Morning Herald | Aug 12, 2014

The Mozart operas are the first two of a planned Da Ponte trilogy (he also wrote the libretto for Cosi fan Tutte) directed by Sir David McVicar, and will employ an outstanding ensemble of young Australian singers led by soprano Nicole Car (Tatyana in Melbourne’s Eugene Onegin last year) whom Terracini believes are on the verge of great things.

30 Under 30: Today's hottest young musicians

Clive PagetHallam FulcherBen Nielsen | Limelight Magazine | Jun 29, 2014

The young classical superstar isn’t exactly a new phenomenon – think Mozart, Liszt or Mendelssohn – but if you think the hottest talents are getting younger and younger, you might just be right. This month we’ve decided it’s time to take stock. So who is the new breed of soloist and what makes them special? Here are our pick of 30 of the best, all of them, rather neatly, under the age of 30.

What a record label looks for...

What are our criteria for signing new artists to our labels? The truth is there are no rules, no boxes to tick –because successful artists are unique “one-offs”, special and distinctive. The key is: how does an artist communicate emotion? For me this is the bottom line. If an artist is like you and me, they’re probably not interesting enough. The best artists have a special “aura” and a unique way of expressing themselves, both musically and in that something extra they project across the footlights. Of course, if they also strive to programme exciting repertoire, look like George Clooney or Scarlett Johansson, like to speak to journalists, communicate to their fans via social media, tour extensively and sign CDs after concerts, we love them even more.

Costa Pilavachi, Senior Vice- President, Universal Music

What an opera producer looks for...

What do I look for in a young singer? Opera is an incredibly demanding and highly competitive profession. It’s certainly not something that can be entered into on a whim. It takes guts, determination and a real commitment. Specifically, I look first for genuine talent. Without that there’s no point in going any further. This is followed closely by an inbuilt capacity for hard work that will need to extend right through the career. I also try to ascertain how desperately they want to be a singer, and whether they are strong enough, both mentally and physically, to work effectively within the industry.

Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director, Opera Australia


Nicole Car - the rising star of opera

EURONEWS.COM - Culture: Le Mag | Mar 26, 2014

She’s being hailed as the next Joan Sutherland.

Australian-born Nicole Car is singing the lead in Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’, the first ever co-production between Opera Australia and Britain’s Royal Opera.

Before turning to opera, Car started her musical training as a jazz singer. The 28-year-old soprano expressed the view that playing Tatyana is what dreams are made of:

“I took myself off to the art centre in Melbourne and went and saw Tosca and completely fell in love. Tatyana is the kind of role that you dream of doing and so when the opportunity comes up to sing her it doesn’t matter what else is going on you say yes. And take it with both hands,” she said.

The opera is directed by Kasper Holten, the highly acclaimed Artistic Director of Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House. He said he has great hopes for Nicole Car: “Her stage presence, her voice, she’s one of those singers who really has it all and I’m sure she’s going to go many places.”

The opera is based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel of the same name.

Nicole Car sings in Russian, and has won critical acclaim for her performance, with one reviewer praising her courage to "reach beyond her comfort zone, testing the limits of her abilities in a demanding role".

After Sydney in March, ‘Eugene Onegin’ moves to Melbourne from mid April.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

Soprano Nicole Car raises her voice for Royal Opera’s Eugene Onegin



Nicole Car is preparing for her role as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. Picture: James CroucherSource: News Limited

THREE years ago, Nicole Car was a promising soprano who had just won a place in Opera Australia’s young artist program. She’d been cast as girl-next-door Micaela in Carmen and was making her debut in a main role at the Sydney Opera House.

At the time, she was a little bit girl-next-door herself, a confident 25-year-old with a becoming sweetness and modesty. In fact, she was similar to many other singers at the start of their careers: excited to be given a break with the national opera company, ambitious about the operas she wanted to sing one day - Aida and Don Carlos at the Metropolitan, nothing small - and cautious about the career pitfalls that can beset professional singers.

She fed this writer a delicious line about Tosca’s aria Vissi d’arte and wanting to eat it all up: not as a prima donna chewing the scenery but as if that famous aria about life and art were a big bowl of chocolate ice cream.

Car, 28, has not yet tackled Aida or Tosca - “You have to be in your 30s to play her,” she says of Puccini’s heroine. But if ice cream can be a metaphor for the rewards of an opera career, Car is licking the bowl clean.

That role in Carmen led to an introduction, via mezzosoprano Rinat Shaham, to New York-based agency Zemsky Green, which now represents her. She will be making her US debut in Dallas in the 2014-15 season.

She stepped up to sing Mimi in La Boheme when the scheduled singer was unwell - “Trust Mimi to get whooping cough,” she says - and there came a steady but unrushed sequence of roles, from Mozart’s Donna Anna and Pamina to Leila in The Pearl Fishers. Car impressed with her lovely clear soprano and appealing stage presence.

Then, last October, she was a finalist in the international Neue Stimmen contest in Germany. You can see her performances online: Car sings Leonora’s Tacea la notte from Il Trovatore and looks every bit the young star. She shared first prize.

She is about to make her role debut as Tatyana in the Australian premiere of a distinctive new staging of Eugene Onegin from the Royal Opera in London. It opens later this month at the Sydney Opera House, and Car will have first-night honours in a leading role.

After Car’s appearance in The Pearl Fishers, OA artistic director Lyndon Terracini asked Car to try singing Tatyana, in particular the girl’s famous Letter Scene. Tatyana has gone gaga over Eugene Onegin, a dandy from St Petersburg, and stays up all night writing a letter to him. Car says the music was absolutely right for her voice, and she jumped at the chance to sing it.

“At the start she’s very dreamy, but at the same time she’s very strong and she knows what she wants,” Car says of Tchaikovsky’s heroine. “I love playing those kinds of characters. There is more to her than meets the eye.”

In Kasper Holten’s production, there certainly is more to Tatyana. The Danish director has come up with a staging concept that pairs the soprano and baritone roles of Tatyana and Onegin with two dancers. The idea is that the pair of never-to-be lovers, in later life, can look back on their youthful selves with tinges of affection and regret.

“She inhabits the role of her younger self,” is how Holten explains the concept, speaking on the phone from London ahead of the rehearsal period in Sydney.

“Obviously, I haven’t worked with Nicole yet, but I look forward to that. It’s something that must be very physical for [the singers]. It can’t be an intellectual exercise: it must be something the singers feel, work with and respond to.”

Holten arrived in London in 2011, at age 38, to be head of opera at the Royal Opera House (he was formerly artistic director of the Royal Danish Opera). The opera he chose for his first production at Covent Garden was Eugene Onegin, a piece that has fascinated him since he was in his teens.

He studied Russian at high school so that he could read Pushkin’s verse-novel Eugene Onegin in the original language, and he was completely besotted with Tchaikovsky’s ravishing music.

“There is something in Russian art and literature that I have always had a special fondness for,” he says. “There’s this tone of melancholy and longing. Whether it has to do with the size of the country, or with all the suffering that country has gone through, or whether it’s just a national trait, I don’t know.”

Tchaikovsky adapted Pushkin to make the libretto, and retained a poetic quality that is often absent from more routinely serviceable opera texts. The Letter Scene, in particular, is “straight out of Pushkin”.

Where Pushkin uses a third-person narrator to tell the story of Tatyana and Onegin, Holten says, Tchaikovsky provides a kind of commentary through his melancholy-tinged music.

“The first bars of the opera start with this sad, dropping line,” he says. “I thought, maybe Tchaikovsky is giving the hint that he knows it is all going to end badly. That’s why we chose this [concept] of the whole thing being filtered through the more mature Tatyana, reflecting back on what happened.”

Not that he wants it to be an overly intellectualised, concept-driven Eugene Onegin. “Key to a successful Onegin is a strong emotional identification,” he continues. “You need to be able to dive into these big emotional moments ...

“This is part of the melancholy. You can’t go back, you can’t undo things, you can’t talk to your younger self. That is what we are trying to show in this production, that this is a very human experience.”

Less than three years into his tenure at Covent Garden, Holten has won admiration for his ambitious plans to present new opera: no fewer than eight main-stage operas will be premiered in the next seven years.

They include new works by two of Britain’s star composers, Thomas Ades and George Benjamin, and a four-opera series - by Kaija Saariaho, Jorg Widmann, Luca Francesconi and Mark-Anthony Turnage - inspired by a “provocation” by cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek.

Holten also intends the smaller Linbury Studio to be a laboratory for experimental opera: the studio last year showed Australian composer Ben Frost’s opera The Wasp Factory, based on Iain Banks’s novel.

Critics have been far from uniform, though, in their assessment of new productions under Holten’s stewardship at Covent Garden, where grand-opera ventures - such as The Trojans in 2012, and last year’s The Sicilian Vespers and Parsifal - are closely monitored by the opera world.

The critical response to his Eugene Onegin, too, was mixed: some critics found the flashbacks-with-dancers concept too distracting. Australian audiences will see for themselves when the production opens at the Sydney Opera House, then transfers to Melbourne’s State Theatre in April. Guillaume Tourniaire conducts both seasons.

Car says she is looking forward to the unusual challenge of working with a dancer who is meant to resemble her in the character of Tatyana. Last year she received an email from a resident director at OA, wanting to know her height so that a body double, or at least a close resemblance, could be found. In Sydney, dancers Emily Ranford and Sam Colbey will accompany Car and baritone Dalibor Jenis as Onegin.

“On the one hand, the dancers are going to bring a lot to the show, but I want to make sure that my character is still my character,” she says. “You want to have that kind of ownership of it, if there is someone else being Tatyana on stage.”

Car grew up in Essendon in the Melbourne suburbs, and there was always music and singing going on. While at school, she studied jazz singing until a teacher noticed a more operatic vibrato starting to bloom in her voice and suggested she try some classical lessons.

At about the same time, she went with her friend Erin Hasan to see Tosca at the State Theatre - she later found out it was with her “big idol”, soprano Deborah Riedel - and opera cast its spell on her.

“It was just kind of random,” says Car, sipping a peppermint tea at OA’s Melbourne headquarters on what happens to be her 28th birthday. “We came out of the theatre and I was like, ‘This is opera? This is what I want to do.’ “ Hasan, her friend, had been studying classical music but made the switch the other way to musical theatre: she has played Glinda in Wicked and Christine in Love Never Dies.

Within a few months, Car learned three audition pieces and was accepted into voice studies at the University of Melbourne and, later, at the Victorian College of the Arts, where her teacher was Anna Connolly. She won the 2007 Herald Sun Aria competition and was a finalist for the 2008 Mathy Scholarship. Her professional debut, in 2009, was as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Victorian Opera. (She will return to that company in August, singing Adalgisa in a single concert performance of Norma.)

Car’s career is shifting up a gear, but she is already having inklings of the tricky work-life balance that singers must negotiate. Just before she moved to Sydney in 2010 to take a place in OA’s young artist program, she married her school sweetheart, Robin Stephenson, a mechanical engineer.

Car says she is not yet ready for children, but given the way singers’ diaries get busy - she is booked up until mid-2015 - she is aware planning may be necessary. “If I wanted to have children, you kind of have to plan it in blocks, which seems very silly,” she says. “I think it would be nice to have a family down the track.”

Car’s international debut will be in Dallas, although the role has not yet been announced. She has also auditioned for the Metropolitan in New York, San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Among the roles she is learning are Marguerite in Faust, and Maria in Simon Boccanegra. But she is “more than happy to wait” before she tackles the bigger Verdi roles or Puccini’s Tosca.

“I think I’m probably more conservative than I was three years ago,” she says. “I’m happier to leave it for a while, especially the bigger stuff. You see so many singers singing bigger repertoire than they probably should, and burning out very quickly. I don’t want to be one of those statistics. I’m happy to take my time.”

Eugene Onegin is at the Sydney Opera House from February 28 and the State Theatre, Melbourne, from April 16.

21 Hot Young Theatremakers of 2013

Ben Neutze | Daily Review Crikey | Dec 17, 2013

Here’s our list of 21 young actors, writers, designers, directors and companies who have made big waves in 2013. Some have been hanging around the traps for a few years now but have really made their mark this year, whereas others are shiny and new. And with only 21, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Car is, without a doubt, the fastest-rising star of opera in Australia. 2013 has seen her continued popularity with show-stopping performances in Opera Australia’s Carmen and La Boheme. The 28-year-old Soprano also won the prestigious Neue Stimmen singing competition in Germany. In 2014, she’ll appear in La Boheme, Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni for Opera Australia, and Norma for Victorian Opera


Aussie wins Neue Stimmen Singing Competition

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Oct 13, 2013

Australian soprano Nicole Car has won joint first prize in Germany’s Neue Stimmen vocal competition. The American soprano, Nadine Sierra was the co-winner amongst the women with Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan placed third.

The televised competition held in Gütersloh is billed as the world’s biggest and has previously thrown up names such as Nathalie Stutzmann, Christine Opolais, Vesselina Kasarova and René Pape. This year’s jury included such vocal luminaries as Anja Silja, Siegfried Jerusalem and Francisco Araiza.

Soprano Nicole Car ends on a high note

Alison Barclay | Herald Sun | Nov 2, 2007

A SUPER Car has found her star vehicle. Young Melbourne soprano Nicole Car is on the road to success after winning the 2007 Herald Sun Aria last night.

Car, at 21 the youngest of the six finalists competing for the $35,000 first prize, sped off with the award after stunning a capacity crowd at Hamer Hall with arias by Verdi and Puccini, performed with Orchestra Victoria.

Chief adjudicator Anson Austin said he and fellow judges Richard Divall and Suzanne Johnston were unanimous in their decision.

"(Nicole is) a young lady whom we consider to have a wonderful talent and a most beautiful voice, and who could have an outstanding career ahead of her," Austin said.

Car thanked the trio for coaching her in the race to the final.

"They have made this job, this journey, a lot easier for me," the Victorian College of the Arts student said.

She also thanked the Herald and Weekly Times "for this amazing show that they put on every single year and that I have been to for however many years, and for putting their trust in young singers".

The Pascoe Vale South singer hopes to develop into that most powerful and rare of voices -- the dramatic soprano, with the strength and stamina for lead roles in operas by Wagner and Verdi.

Now in her final year at the VCA, she pays her way with a part-time job in Myer Bourke St's manchester department. Her Aria scholarship and cash will allow her to return next year to London's Guildhall School of Music, where she spent a month last summer receiving intensive coaching.

Last night's runner-up, with a $14,000 prize, was soprano Emily Blanch, 23, from North Fitzroy.

Four-time Aria finalist Maxine Montgomery, 32, of Ballarat won the $2500 encouragement award.