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Perfect diction, along with stellar vocal technique, is a distinguishing characteristic of the most renowned operatic soloists. The illustrious diva, Beverly Sills, in the Foreword to Nico Castel's French Libretti Series, writes ...

"My dear friend, Nico Castel, and I would often sing together in an opera, and each time I would marvel at his expertise in the language in which we were performing. Later, when I became Director of the New York City Opera, I would at times despair at the way young singers tend to sacrifice the value of the text for the sake of volume or pearl shaped tones. I'm sure that I'm not the only one for whom fledgling dramatic Italian sopranos would audition with 'Pooce, pooce' instead of 'Pace, pace, mio Dio. On more than one occasion I advised them to listen to Nico's use of any given word in any given language and to study, if possible, with him in his coaching classes ..."

—Beverly Sills

Nico Castel has enjoyed an illustrious 35 year career as a character tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as 26 years as the staff diction coach, working with many of the world's most renowned singers. He brings together a rare combination of performance ability and language acuity with the skill to teach — and offers a variety of learning and development resources for the professional or advanced student.

  • Private coaching is available at Nico's New York City studio at $100 per hour.

  • Classes in New York City. Nico offers group classes and workshops in New York City. Both diction classes and the unique "Making It Professional" Series ( in conjunction with his wife, Carol Castel, a highly regarded opera vocal and drama coach) are offered through the New York Opera Studio.

  • Worldwide Workshops. Each summer, Nico travels throughout the world offering diction workshops at a number of leading opera festivals.

  • Private coaching by mail. Opera professionals and advanced students who can't come to New York can avail themselves of Nico's "Mail-A-Diction" coaching by tape. At the same $100 per hour rate for an in-studio session, Nico will record just your part with diction cues and hints. Contact Nico to arrange a session.

  • Operatic Libretti Series. Nico's groundbreaking series, published by Leyerle Publications. With 17 volumes now completed, this epic work is the authoritative diction reference for the world's opera repertoire, and an essential addition to the libraries of professionals, serious students and opera lovers everywhere.