Nell Snaidas Soprano

Helicon Performances

Symposium 114 - “Stile Moderno” the 17th century avant-garde

Nell Snaidas has been praised by the New York Times for her “beautiful soprano voice, melting passion” and “vocally ravishing” performances. Her voice has also been described as “remarkably pure with glints of rich sensuality” (Vancouver Sun); and she has been called “a model of luminous timbre and emotional intensity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). 

American-Uruguayan soprano Nell Snaidas began her career singing leading roles in zarzuelas at New York City's Repertorio Español. 
Specialization in Latin American and Spanish Baroque music has taken her all over Europe, North and Latin America. She has been invited to join many leading Early Music ensembles in the capacity of soloist, guitarist, and Iberian/New World language and repertoire consultant. These groups include Apollo’s Fire, The Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Ex Umbris, Ensemble Viscera, El Mundo, Chatham Baroque and at Music Festivals from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Italy, to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She has recorded for Sony Classical, Koch, Naxos and Dorian (for whom she served as language coach and soloist on 3 Spanish/New World Baroque cds). She has also recorded this repertoire with premiere Costa Rican Baroque Ensemble, Ganassi, with whom she toured in the Costa Rican International Music Festival as a soloist singing the Colonial Repertoire of Central and Latin America. Her latest cd as a featured soloist with El Mundo in this same repertoire has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Small Ensemble category.

The 2011-12 season included concerts of 17th century Itlaian and Spanish Cantatas with NY State Baroque, serving as soloist and consultant for the Rose Ensemble in two prorgrams, "Music in the Land of 3 Faiths" and "Spain In the New World" in a collaboration with Piffaro. In her Montreal debut with La Nef, Nell appears in a program called "La Locura" of Spanish Language Baroque Music and in the same genre with La Voce di Gabriella she appears with Mahan Estafani, Kris Kwapis and Christa Patton. She will also appear in concert with her duet partner Daniel Swenberg and play the role of the Princess Edilia in Handel's first opera "Almira" with Opera Mission of NY in its US Premiere. This season also sees the remounting and US tour of Apollo's Fire's wildly successful program, "Mediterranean Nights" created by Jeannette Sorrell around the talents of Nell and Steve Player, Baroque guitarist and dancer extraordinaire.

The 2010-11 season included solo turns with the Dallas Bach Society (Messiah), Apollo’s Fire (Monteverdi Vespers National Tour), Sinfonia NY (International tour of The Art & Ecstasy of the Chaconne), Ars Antiqua - Rebel with Michael Sponsellor (Mozart Lieder and concert arias), Gut, Wind & Wire (trio of the Baltimore consort) with the AF Countryside Players (Plaine and Saucy, songs of the British Isles) and the continuation of her collaboration with Daniel Swenberg of Schubert Songs on 19th century guitar. She also appeared in recital with the Sinfonia NY Chamber Players (organist and the group’s Music Director, John Scott, flutist Sandra Miller and Artistic Director, Baroque ‘cellist Christine Gummere) in a program of Bach arias, and performed a program of excerpts with the group on Eliot Fisk’s guitar festival in Boston.

Nell began the 2009-2010 season singing Euridice in excerpts of Rossi’s “Orfeo” (Tragicomedia) and ended it portraying Bernstein’s virtuosic-coloratura ingénue, Cunegonde, in “Candide” (Provincetown Rep). The season also included engagements as a soloist with Apollo’s Fire (Praetorius’ Christmas Vespers available on KOCH), the Orquesta Nacional de Costa Rica (Mozart’s,“Exsultate Jubilate”), Repast Baroque Ensemble (Music from the time of Rembrandt at the Getty Museum), The Grand Tour Orchestra (Vivialdi & Jommelli Cantatas), concerts with Aston Magna at Bard (17th c Italian repertoire) and two separate appearances at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival. Another highlight was appearing in concert with the fabulous Varla Jean Merman in "Classical Varla" with tenor Mark Cortale and pianist/conductor/comedian Seth Rudetsky - which raises thousands of dollars each year for the Aids Support group of Cape Cod.

2008-2009 season had Nell returning to the Boston Early Music Festival where she delivered a critically acclaimed rendition of the roles Amore and Valletto. She also appeared in concert tour with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and with Tragicomedia where the New York Times singled out her “ravishing” cameo performance as “wrenching”. BEMF also contracted her to present a lecture demonstration with Erin Headly and Grant Herreid on Laments and the Lirone. Other appearances that season included playing Lucia in Stradella’s “La Forza del Amor Paterno” with Brandywine Baroque, with Apollo’s Fire the roles Euridice/La Musica in Monteverdi’s Orfeo and as Soprano Soloist in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with Village Chorale and members of the NY Philharmonic. That summer she recorded the role of Apolo in the 17th c. zarzuela, Salir el Amor del Mundo (available on Dorian/Sono Luminus) with El Mundo at Skywalker Studios.

A graduate of the Mannes College of Music, she has been a featured soloist in numerous festivals, operas and concert halls including Lincoln Center Summerfest, Alice Tully, Town Hall, Regensburg Tage/Alter Musik Fest, Internacional Festival de la Zarzuela in Mexico, and L’Internazionale Festivale di Scarlatti in Sicily. Operatic performances include “Lisetta” in Gli Equivoci nel Sembiante at the Teatro Garibaldi in Palermo, “Despina” in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte at Caramoor with the Orchestra of St. Luke and “Valletto” in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea with Festival Vancouver under the direction of Stephen Stubbs/Paul O’Dette.

Favorite projects include creating the role "Princess Olga" in the world-premiere of the Boston Early Music Festival’s production of the Baroque opera Boris Goudenow at the Cutler Majestic Theater and Tanglewood, giving recitals throughout Italy of Italian and Spanish Baroque music with Ex Umbris (Chacona:Spain and Her Dominions available on Dorian Recordings), touring Canterine Romane with lutenist Paul O’Dette and Tragicomedia, singing John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and sharing the bill with The Buena Vista Social Club on a tour of Mexico with her own all-female Baroque ensemble.

Nell was on faculty at the Madison Early Music Festival at the University of Wisconsin teaching classes on 17th/ 18th century Song Interpretation of the Spanish Dominions and has served as 15th -21st century Spanish and Latin American language coach for individuals and ensembles including NYC’s Trinity Wall Street Choir and the New York Continuo Collective and the Rose Ensemble. 

Nell starred internationally as "Christine" in The Phantom of the Opera, is heard in Mel Brooks’ movie-musical The Producers, and was a soloist in the Grammy-nominated Broadway cast album Hair. She also collaborated with Alicia Keys in the musical arrangement and Italian translation of her song “Superwoman” for Kathleen Battle for the grand finale of the 2008 America Music Awards. She has recorded for Sony Classical, Dorian, Koch International and Naxos and was featured on CBC radio as one of the leading interpreters of Spanish Renaissance and Sephardic song.