Nyle Wolfe (born October 1971), trained as a singer at the Cork School of Music and the Leinster school of Music & Drama, Dublin. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music, London, with the conservatory's highest academic award and won a scholarship to complete his studies at the Zurich Opera House. He has performed various leading lyric baritone roles in operas, as well as a leading parts in musicals and operettas. Although he is first and foremost a classical opera singer, he has sung and recorded in many differing musical styles. His first solo album Moodswings was released in Ireland in 2007.
Family and early career:
Nyle Wolfe is the eldest of six children. Educated in Southampton, Hampshire, he attended Springhill RC primary school, St. Mary's College and Richard Taunton College. He sang his first concert as a boy scout at the age of six, singing "White Christmas" and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Throughout his school years, he was an active participant in musical and theatrical productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oliver! and The Royal Hunt of the Sun. He came to public attention with the Southampton Operatic Society in the title role of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. With the amateur company he also sang The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance and Private Willis in Iolanthe. He returned to Cork with his parents and siblings in 1988. His brother Declan Wolfe is a presenter with Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Declan and Careen Wolfe run one of Cork's most successful drama schools. A second brother, Aaron Wolfe, is a writer whose works have been perfored in the Cork Opera House and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.
In Cork, Nyle met opera singer and impresario John O'Flynn through an advertisement in the Cork Examiner, headed "Sing and Get Paid for it!" Mr. O'Flynn was artistic director of the Irish Operatic Repertory Company. Nyle was engaged as a member of the chorus and the Young Singer programme, supported by Foras Áiseanna Saothair (FAS).
He made his professional debut at the Fir Grove Hotel in Mitchelstown, County Cork, singing the sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor together with Irish soprano Cara O'Sullivan. His first appearance at Cork Opera House took place early in 1991 as a flunkey in The Student Prince. Over the next 18 months, Nyle developed his vocal abilities under the careful tutelage of John O'Flynn before the FAS scheme ended. Over the following summer, Nyle worked as a Blue Coat in Pontin's Trabolgan Holiday Village where he was able to guest star with several of Ireland's leading performers of the time, including Joe Mac and Sonny Knowles. Nyle was approached by researchers from RTÉ, which led to his first television appearance on Gerry Ryan's Secrets, singing "Over the Rainbow".
A period of study at the Cork School of Music with veteran tenor John Carolan began in the autumn of 1992. Nyle won several prizes at Cork's Feis Maitiu including Male Solo and Music Theatre. His first part in Cork's Everyman Palace as the Mayor of the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz was followed by his first major opera role as Pish Tush in the IORC production of The Mikado in Cork Opera House. Soon after began a long association with Shannon Heritage in Bunratty, Knappogue and Dunguaire Castles. He sang at the Rose of Tralee International Festival at the Dome to several million television viewers world wide. At the Rose Festival, he met Mr Gay Byrne. He later sang the role of The Pirate King in the live broadcast of The Pirates of Penzance on The Gay Byrne Show and songs from Oklahoma! and The Gondoliers on The Late Late Show. Thanks to financial support from Shannon Heritage, Nyle moved to Dublin to further his opera studies at the Leinster Opera Studio with Dr Veronica Dunne. During this time, he sang at the Galway Arts Festival. He won opera solo, duet and music theatre competitions at the Centenary Feis Ceoil and was invited to sing with Rathmines & Rathgar and Glasnevin Musical Societies. He sang the role of Morales in Bernadette Greevy's production of Carmen in the National Concert Hall and Second Armed Man in the then Dublin Grand Opera Society's production of The Magic Flute. He met and sang for former President Mary Robinson, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and at the West Belfast Arts Festival, Gerry Adams. He also sang in many concerts and recitals for RTÉ programmes for producers Kevin Hough and Jane Carty.
Nyle completed two years postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music in 1998, where he graduated summa cum laude. During this time, he travelled to Ireland to sing, most notably La bohème in Cork Opera House, La traviata in the National Concert Hall and The Merry Widow in University Concert Hall, Limerick. Performances in the UK included Don Giovanni in Cambridge and Albert Herring and Le rossignol in London, as well as concerts for Queen Elizabeth II, her family and members of the British Parliament. In competition, Nyle won the Mary Garden International Singing Competition in Aberdeen, the 3FM Prize in the inaugural Veronica Dunne Singing Competition and was finalist in the Scottish Opera singing Competition.
Nyle was approached by Brian Dickie to sing Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict in Baden-Baden and Paris with European Opera. He returned to Dublin once more to sing in Salome and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District with the newly renamed Opera Ireland. A year of final study followed in Switzerland at the Zurich Opera House where he sang Baculus in Der Wildschütz.
2000 and beyond:
In 2000, Nyle was engaged as principal lyric baritone at the Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen. In Gelsenkirchen, he sang hundreds of performances, highlights included Dandini in La Cenerentola, Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Figaro in The Barber of Seville and in the German premiere of Roland Moser's Avatar. At the Ruhrtriennale Festival he sang the world premiere of Alexander Mullenbach's Die Todesbrücke which was revived at the Théâtre National de Luxemburg. Nyle was also guest with other opera companies, including Opera Ireland for the Irish premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's The Silver Tassie and in Cologne in La finta giardiniera. Nyle was featured in American musical in productions of Kiss Me, Kate, Crazy for You and Cy Coleman's The Life as well as popular repertoire with concerts of music associated with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and The Blues Brothers.
In November 2006, Nyle returned to Cork Opera House as Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville with Opera 2005, the production was nominated for a theatre award by The Irish Times.
During 2007, Nyle moved home to Ireland to concentrate on a new project. Together with his longtime collaborator David Wray and Mark McCabe, they produced Nyle's first commercial solo recording, Moodswings. An Irish national tour followed. In 2008, Nyle will continue to tour with his band with concerts planned in Ireland at the National Concert Hall and America.