American-Canadian bass-baritone Marcus Nance is equally at home in opera, musical theatre, concert, and cabaret. The New York Times described him as “a thrillingly powerful bass-baritone” while the Globe and Mail says he “has a rich voice and strong stage presence”.
Marcus Nance garnered international attention as Malcolm in the world premiere of Atom Egoyan’s opera Elsewhereless with Tapestry New Opera Works which earned him a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for Most Outstanding Male Performer. For Queen of Puddings Music Theatre he created the role of Moses in the world premiere of the epic opera Beatrice Chancy, performing alongside opera superstar Measha Bruggergosman. His other opera credits include Porgy in excerpts from Porgy and Bess with the Nathanial Dett Choral and the Toronto Symphony, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with the Tacoma Opera, Compere in Four Saints in Three Acts with Chicago Opera Theatre and an array of exciting roles and concerts with Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Chautauqua Opera, Vancouver New Music, The National Arts Centre, Shreveport Opera, Ash-Lawn-Highland Summer Festival, Natchez Opera Festival, Orchestra London, Victoria Symphony, North York Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Fairbanks Festival Orchestra, Windsor Symphony, the Monterey Bay Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Hawaii Opera Theatre, London Symphony, and the Monterey Bay Opera.
New York audiences saw Marcus Nance on Broadway as Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, in Baz Luhrman’s Tony Award winning production of La Bohème, in New York City Centre ENCORES! productions of Kismet and Of Thee I Sing, as Alidoro in Cenerentola with New York City Opera Education and in concert at the Metropolitan Room.
Recent projects include Rev. Alltalk in Volcano Theatre’s workshop of the reimagined production of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Van Helsing in Innerchamber’s concert version of Dracula, and as Judge Turpin in the Shaw Festival’s production of Sweeney Todd where the Toronto Star proclaimed that he “gives the production’s standout performance as the corrupt Judge Turpin: with his stunning singing voice and commanding physical presence, he is horribly convincing as a man who aborts justice and tramples morality…”
He has spent nine seasons at the prestigious Stratford Festival where his assignments have included the monster in Frankenstein Revived, Bill Bobstay in H.M.S. Pinafore, Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Queequeg in Morris Panych’s Moby Dick and Rev. J.D. Montgomery in Gershwin’s My One and Only. He has also made seen as the Mikado in The Mikado for Drayton Entertainment, and Clairborne in Charlottetown Festival’s world premiere of Evangeline.
Expanding further his creativity and artistic horizons, Marcus Nance has made his film debut as the Singing Accountant in Mel Brooke’s feature film The Producers starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and his television debut as Rev. Moses in the opera Beatrice Chancey. He has also appeared in concert at the Cornwall Concert Series, Primavera Concerts, Elora Festival, Toronto’s Jazz Bistro, the Metropolitan Room in New York City, Stratford Summer Music, the Elora Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival and as a regular guest with the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra.
“Marcus Nance booms with a thrillingly powerful bass baritone.” New York Times
“Marcus Nance rattles the house with his rumbling bass-baritone.” Chicago Tribune
“His voice, a deep flexible instrument that can rumble in his chest or soar above an audience, literally speaks for itself. And it seems to adapt as easily to an opera house, as to a microphone.” Toronto Star
“… that conniving cabal is led by Marcus Nance, a Metropolitan Opera (Regional) National Council winner whose bass voice resonates with silky menace. You can hear every nuance…” New York Post
“As the high priest Caiaphas, Marcus Nance has a bass that flows like melted butter.” Backstage NY
“…and bass-baritone Marcus Nance’s mellifluous voice lent the proper gravitas to anchor the quartet.” La Scena Musicale
“Marcus Nance gives the production’s standout performance as the corrupt Judge Turpin: with his stunning singing voice and commanding physical presence, he is horribly convincing as a man who aborts justice and tramples morality in lustful pursuit of Sweeney’s wife and then his daughter Johanna.” The Toronto Star
“Mr. Nance’s operatically trained bass voice was forceful and he was given the opportunity to further command the stage during his often cut number of self-flagellation, ‘Johanna.’ Nance’s inner turmoil was palpable and given depth to yet another demented mind in this dark tale of Sweeney Todd.” BroadWayWorld
“Marcus Nance, as familiar from opera as musicals, uses his huge baritone to make Judge Turpin a terrifying and troubled character.” Stage Door
“Marcus Nance as Judge Turpin steals the show… the good looks, the endearing charm, and the butterscotch smooth voice.” Buffalo Rising (NY)
“As I witness… and Marcus Nance – the assassin, Sparafucile throw out a hand as he brings forth his sonorous, earthquake of a voice, I try to count the times in my life that I have been aware of standing in the presence of greatness.” Tacoma Reporter
“Marcus Nance sang clearly and moved elegantly as the heavenly host.” Opera News
“Bass-baritone Marcus Nance has an unusual knack for projecting his magnetic personality into his character. He was extremely effective in complementing his voice with such a pleasant personality as the voice sparkled with an infectious grace.” The Chicago Defender
“Bass Marcus Nance is utterly convincing as Malcolm, both in his youthful innocence and his subsequent disillusionment.” Opera Now (United Kingdom)
“In the hands of Toronto bass-baritone Marcus Nance, Malcolm emerges as the one memorable character in the show. Nance’s deep resonant voice gives the character a commanding presence but his performance also reveals the pain and vulnerability of a man stuck in limbo.” The Globe and Mail
“Marcus Nance practically carries the production with a rich powerful bass tone and a genuinely moving expression both vocally and facially.” Musicworks Magazine
“The singers were good especially Marcus Nance’s deeply resonant bass- baritone.” The Vancouver Sun
“… glorious voices and heartfelt performances carry [Beatrice Chancy]. Marcus Nance as the black-coated charismatic preacher Moses, is equal parts grace and fire.” The Globe and Mail
“To the pleasure of many basso Marcus Nance set the highest standards of the entire performance, vocally and theatrically.” The Coast Weekly (California)
“Bass-baritone Marcus Nance was a resounding Ali, taking charge of his scenes… He has a solid vocal technique and a strong stage presence, which make him a memorable performer.” The Charlottesville Daily Progress (Virginia)
“While bass-baritones often have trouble reaching the back of the hall with their low notes, Marcus Nance’s Zuniga filled the Royal with delightful rumbling.” Monday Magazine (Victoria, British Columbia)
“Pistola was solidly sung and amusingly acted by Marcus Nance. He added considerably to the fun.” The Chautauquan Daily (New York)
“Nance’s deep bass brings a unique flavour to these oft-heard classics. With only piano accompaniment and his remarkable voice, Nance transports you to an elegant evening of cabaret and sophistication. This is a truly talented Canadian artist well worth hearing.” Fab Magazine
“It is rare to hear a voice like Marcus Nance’s… deep as the ocean one moment, and soaring with pure, emotional height the next. It is gorgeously refreshing, dazzlingly impressive and makes me long for the days when such lush voices were not such an anomaly on Broadway.” Twisitheatreblog.com
“What the audience gave its greatest ovation to was a controlled and heartfelt performance by Nance… he made you feel the deep sadness and resilience in the music and lyrics with his bass baritone beautifully caressing the melody…” Allaboutjazz.com