About Nikolas Sean-Paul Nackley





Music and DanceCollege of Liberal and Creative Arts


At SF State Since:

August, 2014


Acclaimed baritone and music educator, Nikolas Nackley is a lecturer in voice and opera at the San Francisco State University School of Music. 

Nikolas has served as a full time and visiting lecturer at universities around the San Francisco Bay Area and Massachusets and is sought after as a master vocal and choral clinician and competition adjudicator.  In addition to his academic work at SF State, he is currently the Director of Vocal Studies at UC Berkeley.   At San Francisco State,  he conducts the University Chorus, teaches lyric diction and phonetics, opera workshop, vocal pedagogy, vocal practicum, and applied vocal instruction.   In the last few years he lead SF State’s Chamber Singers and University Chorus in the school’s first performance the “St. Matthew Passion” by Heinrich Schütz as well as Michael Haydn’s “Missa Tempore Quadragesimae”, Stravinsky’s “Mass”, Charpentier’s “Messe Pour Minuit de Noël”, Haydn’s “Part Songs”, and the Brahms “Zigeunerlieder" as well as Duruflé's "Requiem", Pinkham's "Christmas Cantata", and Schubert's "Mass in G Major" among others.  As a stage and music director of opera, he has directed, musically prepared and or conducted the university’s opera program in productions including Menotti's "Old Maid and the Thief" and "Amelia al ballo",  Mozart’s “La Finta Giardiniera”, Strauss’ “Fledermaus”, Handel’s “Alcina”, Cavalli’s “La Calisto” and “To Hell and Back in 400 Years”, a composite Orpheus pastiche-opera that he arranged and directed.

From 2016-2018 Professor Nackley conducted the UC Berkeley University Chorus in performances including Britten’s “Gloriana Choral Dances”, Purcell’s “Come, Ye Sons of Art”,  Charpentier’s “Messe de Morts”, De Lalande’s “De Profundis Clamavit”, the Berlioz “Apotheose" from the "Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale”,  Fauré’s “Requiem”, the Vivaldi “Gloria”, Pärt’s “Two Slavic Psalms” and Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” in collaboration with ensembles including the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Contra Costa Wind Symphony, and the Jubilate Orchestra. In addition, he led a joint concert of songs of protest, resistance, and praise from around the world performed with the University Gospel Chorus.

As a solo vocal artist, Nikolas is in demand for his work on both the concert and operatic stage in California, the East Coast, and abroad.  He has been heralded by the San Francisco Chronicle as “sonorous and heroic” and praised by the Boston Globe for his ability to “continually impress with his beautiful voice and acting.”  Recently featured in the title role of West Edge Opera’s critically acclaimed “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”, his other recent credits include the role of Captain Bouchardon in the West Coast premier of Matt Mark's opera, “Mata Hari”,  Joe Pitt in the West Coast premier of Peter Eötvös’s “Angels in America” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Adonis in Blow’s “Venus and Adonis” with Marin Baroque, Mozart "Requiem", Brahms "Requiem", Bach’s St. John Passion, Cantata BWV 140 and Handel’s “Ode for the Birth of Queen Anne” with the SF Bach Choir,  Figaro in Paisiello’s “Barber of Seville” with WEO’s Opera Medium Rare, Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”, "B Minor Mass" and Haydn's "The Seasons" with Marin Oratorio, the West Coast premier of Kaija Saariaho’s “The Tempest Songbook” with Cal Performances and a recital series in the Northumberland region of England.

He has worked as a featured soloist under such conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Roger Norrington, Joana Carneiro, Bruno Weil, Craig Smith, Harry Christophers, John Harbison, and Pablo Heras Casado.

Other recent engagements include the world premier of Stacy Garrop’s “Terra Nostra” with the SF Choral Society, Bach’s “St John Passion”, “Carmina Burana”  and Mozart’s “Requiem”with the Bay Choral Guild, the role of Pallante in Handel’s “Agrippina” and the Badger/Parson in Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen”  with West Edge Opera,  the West Coast premiere of Jocelyn Hagen’s “Ashes of Roses” with Symphony Silicone Valley,  Haydn’s “Paulkenmesse” and the Duruflé “Requiem” with the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers.