LISTEN: Colleen Nicoll shares her journey from singing schoolgirl to performing professionally
With her ‘versatile and ‘enchanting’ voice, Colleen Nicoll, who grew up in Dunkeld, is back in Highland Perthshire and performing her childhood dream on stage at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
She’s joining Katie Grosset for four days with six performances of classic operatic singing, featuring the works of Vivaldi to Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Monteverdi, Bellini, Donizetti.
Colleen explained: “I’ve always loved to sing. If you ask my mum, she would say that I was singing before I was talking, which I don’t know if it’s really true or not, but I I’ve always, always, loved to sing and I grew up here in Highland Perthshire and as a child there was a lot going on for us here.
“I was in the fair city singers, which was a fantastic choir, and still is a fantastic youth choir, and Perth got to go all over the world with them, and a big thank you to the leaders of the choir at the time, Mary and Martin Nielsen who really sort of honed in on the fact that I was really, really passionate and really keen on it and sort of helped me move forwards.
“And I had a fantastic singing teacher here too Jenny Turnbull, she helped me so much and made my two school music teachers to Gordon Merchant and Melvin Turnbull.
“I had this kind of group around me that just really sort of realized that I was genuinely passionate about it and just guided me through and helped me along the way.
“And it was just one of these things that kind of unfolded. And I just sort of ended up doing what I’m doing. I never really specifically chose it. I didn’t sort of decide one day that I was going to be a singer. It just all kind of, you know, one step led to the next step and it just kept going forward from there.”
Her career has taken Colleen not just across the world but in front of the royal family.
Singing the role of Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Collen performed before the HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Now she’s returning to Highland Perthshire at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre this week and into the weekend.
Colleen added: “Growing up in Dunkeld I enjoyed many shows at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. When I was about 10 years old, I entered a competition to write a review of a play. I won the competition, and the prize was a backstage tour of the theatre. I was so excited and loved learning how it all worked behind the scenes! I also got to read my review out on Heartland FM, and I remember telling the producer at the time that one day they would be able to see me perform at that theatre…and here we are, I kept my promise!”