The Austrian tenor Nikolai Schukoff studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg where he was awarded the ‘Lilli Lehmann Medal’. In1996 he made his debut in Gelsenkirchen as Alfredo in ‘La Traviata’ followed by several years under contract at the Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Staatstheater Nuremberg. During this time he already made guest appearances in Düsseldorf, Salzburg, Lyon, Paris, Sydney and at the Scottish Opera.
Nikolai Schukoff’s international breakthrough came in 2006 with more dramatic roles like Siegmund in a first act concert version in Berlin with Marek Janowski conducting and a highlight was when he stepped in as Parsifal for Placido Domingo at the Staatsoper in Munich. The following years brought appearances with many leading opera companies in the world with a multi-faceted repertoire. Nikolai Schukoff has achieved great acclaim, in particular, for his outstanding interpretations of Parsifal and Don José in ‘Carmen’. He sang ‘Parsifal’ in, among other places, Dresden, Paris, Budapest, Santiago de Compostela, Lyon, Munich and sang the role of Don José in Lausanne, Paris (Châtelet and Opéra de Paris), Baden-Baden, Hamburg, Valladolid, Dresden, among others.
Other highlights of his career were appearances as Sergei in ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’, as Max in ‘Der Freischütz’ in Geneva, as Dionysos in Heinz-Werner Henze’s ‘The Bassarids’ in Munich, as Erik in ‘The Flying Dutchman’ in Munich, Hamburg and at the Edinburgh Festival, as Florestan in ‘Fidelio’ in Lyon and at the Edinburgh Festival, in the role of Steva in ‘Jenufa’ at the Teatro Real Madrid, as Pollione in ‘Norma’ at the Châtelet, as Bacchus in ‘Ariadne’, as Grigori in ‘Boris Godunov’ in Valencia and as Prologue and Quint in ‘The Turn of the Screw’ at the Theater an der Wien.
In 2013 Nikolai Schukoff made his debut as Don José at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, sang his first Cavaradossi in Cologne and sang his first staged ‘Valkyrie’ as Siegmund in Valencia under the baton of Zubin Mehta.
The 2014-15 season includes his first ‘Lohengrin’ in Amsterdam, a series of ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ at the Opéra de Paris and a production of ‘Carmen’ at the Liceu in Barcelona. This will be followed by ‘Carmen’ and ‘Jenufa’ at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, ‘Don Carlos’ in Dresden, ‘Der Freischütz’ in Hamburg, Paris and at La Monnaie in Brussels, ‘La Juive’ in Lyon, ‘The Flying Dutchman’ in Seattle and Madrid, among other engagements.
In the concert repertoire Nikolai Schukoff is best known for the demanding works by Mahler such as ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ and the ‘Eighth Symphony’, ‘Die Gurrelieder’ by Schönberg and Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’. He performed ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ in, among other places, Paris, London and Lucerne under Christoph Eschenbach, in Montpellier and Amsterdam, under Marc Albrecht, the ‘Eighth Symphony’ in Paris, Prague and Hamburg, under Christoph Eschenbach, in Rome under Antonio Pappano, in Paris under Daniele Gatti, in Frankfurt under Paavo Järvi, ‘Die Gurrelieder’ in Barcelona and Zaragoza under Josep Pons and at the Musikverein in Vienna under Zubin Mehta, Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ in Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Geneva, London and Washington under Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel, Marek Janowski, Ricardo Chailly and Philippe Jordan, among others.
Other pieces that he often performs are Beethoven’s ‘Missa Solemnis’, Stravinsky’s ‘Oedipus Rex’, the ‘Faust Symphony’ by Liszt and the ‘Glagolitic Mass’ by Janacek.