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Take Note of Renowned Katy Opera Singer Nicole Heaston Lane


KATY MAGAZINE l AUGUST 2019

By Jennifer Miko

Meet Katy’s Nicole Heaston Lane – wife, mother of two teenagers, volunteer, and critically acclaimed opera singer. Nicole travels the globe performing in prestigious venues, while reminding her family that home is where the heart is.

Destined for Greatness

Nicole’s vocal training began in her Chicago church choir.

“I started singing my very first solo and “I had to sing a high note,” Nicole recalls. “I used to roll my eyes to the top of my head and everyone would tell me to stop doing that, it was like I was looking for my high note.”

Her mother, a professional piano player, enrolled her in piano lessons, but Nicole admits she wasn’t very good. Luckily her instructor noticed Nicole liked to sing while playing the piano and encouraged her mom to sign her up for other choirs, outside of church.

“She put me in the Chicago Children’s Choir and I was really nervous because I thought everyone in the choir was so much better than I was,” says Nicole. “I heard them rehearsing but my mother was like, ‘No, you can do this, you’re going to audition.’ It turned out to be life-changing for me.”

Nicole says the joy of singing inspired her, as well as the women in her church choir. “We had such strong ladies singing in the choir in my church and I loved to just hear them sing it down,” says Nicole. “But it wasn’t something I thought I could do until I actually started doing it.”

Reaching for Higher Notes

Nicole attended Kenwood Academy public high school in Chicago and was influenced by Dr. Lena McLin, the music director there. She convinced Nicole to move from second alto to soprano and told her she was an opera singer.

“I said black people don’t sing opera, and she said, 'Yes, they do,' and she pointed to the back of her classroom to a row and pictures of William Warfield and Leontyne Price and Shirley Verrett,” remembers Nicole. “She said, 'Those are black opera singers and you can be one of them.'”

Nicole went on to graduate from the University of Akron (Ohio) and co