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Nick Olcott

Stage Director


Nick Olcott has been active in opera and theatre, as director, writer, actor, and educator, for over thirty years. 

Opera credits include Boston Lyric Opera (The Daughter of the Regiment), Opera Cleveland (Roméo et Juliette and The Turn of the Screw), Wolf Trap Opera (Viva la mamma/The Empresario and Bastianello and Lucrezia), Prague Summer Nights (Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi), the In Series (La traviata, Oberon, Casino Paradise, Trouble in Tahiti, and Der Kaiser von Atlantis), and Ash Lawn Opera Festival (Madame Butterfly, the Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute). He directs frequently for Opera Lafayette, most notably the company’s pairing of Così fan tutte (in French) with Les femmes vengées, which played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Opéra Royal in Versailles. His other Opera Lafayette credits include L’épreuve villageoise and Il barbiere di Siviligia (the Paesiello version).  Next year he will direct for the company his own adaptation of Bonsoir, Voison.  

As a writer, he has done translations, narrations, and adaptations for Opera Lafayette of Sancho Pança, Le déserteur, and Le magnifique.  He has created many English translations of operas for the In Series, including Love Potion #1 (L’elisir d’amore) and Così fan tutte Goes Hollywood, which has received numerous professional and academic productions.  For Interact Theatre he wrote new lyrics several many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, including The McCardo (a Scottish adaptation of The Mikado) and Pinafores of the Caribbean.  His almost original G & S play, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Purloined Patience received the Charles MacArthur Best New Play Award from the Helen Hayes Organization.  Mr. Olcott has been nominated for a total of eight Helen Hayes nominations: three times as a writer, twice as a director, twice as an actor, and once as a choreographer. 

Theatre directing credits include Arena Stage (The Miracle Worker), the Round House Theatre (over fifteen productions, including All in the Timing, Uncle Vanya, and The Weir), Theater J (over ten productions, including Miklat and David in Light and Shadow), the Washington Stage Guild (over a dozen productions, including The Makropoulos Secret and The Constant Wife) , the Delaware Theatre Company (Taking Steps), and the Philadelphia Theatre Company (Sylvia).  As an actor, he has appeared at Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, the Round House Theatre, and many others.  On television, he had two guest-starring roles in Homicide: Life on the Streets.

As an educator, he was on the faculty of the Maryland Opera Studio for twenty years, where he directed more than a dozen productions.  For eight years, he was the Resident Stage Director the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera, directing their concerts and scene programs. For several years, he was the drama coach and stage director for the Saarburger Serananden in Germany. He is frequently asked to teach acting master classes to young singers.