Nickel City Opera Founder and Artistic Director Valerian Ruminski brings his passion for opera to Western New York audiences through NCO, but he also has a long and acclaimed history as a professional opera singer and performer.
A native of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Ruminski is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and has a BA in Voice from The State University of New York at Buffalo. He was most recently on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for the 2010-11 season and finished a successful run as Nikitisch in Boris Godunov at the Metropolitan Opera and was seen on the HD broadcast worldwide as well as on Sirius Satellite Radio. Recent engagements include Hawaii Opera Theatre as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and as Marquis D’Obigny in La Traviata at the Gasteig in Munich and the Musikverein in Vienna as part of the return of Edita Gruberova.
He has been engaged by The New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera de Montreal, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Minnesota Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Calgary Opera, Opera de Quebec, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Vancouver Opera, Opera Pacific, Opera Columbus, Nickel City Opera, Kansas City Opera, El Paso Opera, Opera de Monte Carlo, Opera Ireland, New Israeli Opera (Tel Aviv), Birmingham Opera, Festival Lyrique de Belle ile en Mer (France), Santa Fe Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, The Bard Festival and The Green Mountain Festival of Vermont.
Roles performed include Gremin/Eugene Onegin, Colline/La Boheme, Feniscio/Ermione, Ferrando/Il Trovatore, Figero/La Nozze di Figaro, Basilio/Barber of Seville, Geronte/Manon Lescaut, Zuniga/Carmen, Don Alfonso/Cosi Fan Tutte, Lt. Ratcliffe/Billy Budd, Sparafucile/Rigoletto, King & Ramphis/Aida, Sam/Ballo in Maschera, Frere Laurent/Romeo and Juliet, Masetto & Commendatore/Don Giovanni, Sarastro/Magic Flute, Banquo/Macbeth, Pubblio/Clemenza di Tito, Timur/Turandot and Inspector Budd/Albert Herring.
Ruminski is the recipient of the Lincoln Center Martin Segal Award for a Young Artist, the Richard Tucker Award, a Gerda Lissner Grant and was the First Place winner of the MacAllister Vocal Competition in Indianapolis.
Also at home in the concert venue, Ruminski has performed in the Monteverdi Vespers, Mozart Requiem, Verdi Requiem, Bach Cantatas and a concert of Shostakovich with the Bard Festival. He is featured on the soon to be released New World Records release of Victor Herbert: The New Generation and can also be heard on the Naxos release of A Night at the Opera with other Metropolitan Opera singers.
Ruminski is also an adjunct professor of voice at the State University of New York at Westchester.
In describing his vision for NCO, Ruminski is simple and direct: “I want to produce the very best opera in the most cost effective manner. I’m not looking to be the biggest but we want high quality.” He relies on his extensive network of renowned musicians and singers from around the world to come to Buffalo and perform in NCO’s productions. “People are often surprised at the level of talent we attract,” he said, “but to me, there’s really no point in staging a full opera production–complete with costumes, sets and an orchestra–if it’s not done right.” And when it comes to making opera fun and accessible fun for all audiences, Ruminski is constantly searching for out-of-the-box ideas, including staging a production of Puccini’s Il Tabarro aboard the USS The Sullivans, docked along Buffalo’s waterfront at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park in June 2011.
Valerian gives voice lessons! Click on this button to purchase lessons or call 716 939 3722
Iceland Concert- Reyjavik, Iceland- July 31, 2016
Berlin Camerata/Concert- Berlin, Germany Sept 2016
Bartolo/Barber of Seville– Opera San Jose- Nov 2016
Crespel/Tales of Hoffmann– Hawaii Opera Theatre- April 2017
Zuniga/Carmen– Nickel City Opera- June 2017
Sacristan/Tosca– Opera de Montreal- Sept 2017
400 West 43rd Street Apt. # 18E