Nick Capodilupo '24

Nick Capodilupo '24 found his voice and his vigor as a vocal performance major and football player at Ithaca College.

Nick Capodilupo

Nick Capodilupo ‘24 on the field at Yankee Stadium for the 2022 Cortaca Jug game versus SUNY Cortland. 

If you told Nick Capodilupo ’24 when he was in middle school that he’d pursue a career in opera, he might not have believed you. Now, the tenor vocal performance major and IC football player wishes younger audiences experienced the art form that inspires him the most.   

“Opera is so enriching, and it's so emotional,” said Nick, who fell in love with classical music in high school. He chose to focus on opera at the end of his sophomore year at IC. “People think opera is dramatic, but it’s really just saying what people want to say. Many people don't really know enough about opera music to get into it, especially at a younger age.” 

As Nick discovered and developed the power of his voice, he continued to play the sport he’d loved since third grade—football. “I was always juggling between rehearsal and practice,” said Nick. When it came time to apply to college, Nick wanted to find a place where he could pursue both of his passions. Ithaca College appealed to him, not just for its reputation in the performing arts but also for its undergraduate focus and its football program.  

“When it came down to it, I asked myself, ‘Where am I going to feel most comfortable?’” said Nick. “Where am I going to feel that I have room to grow—not just sit on the sidelines, but get experience?” 

Fielding Opportunities

At IC, Nick turned each opportunity into another. For instance, last year Nick harmonized his academic and athletic sides during IC’s 63rd annual Cortaca game at Yankee Stadium when he sang the national anthem and awed a crowd of over 40,000 fans. The power of his performance piqued the interest of the Yankees, who invited him back to the stadium to sing again—and he knocked it out of the park with his repeat performance of the national anthem at a Yankees–Red Sox game.   

As much as he’s blended music with football, there’s one strategy Nick never expected to use in his study of music: football plays. “One time, I was struggling to memorize a certain piece for a recital. I kept forgetting the words,” said Nick. “So, my buddy says to me, ‘Why don't you just practice the way that you practice your plays for football?’ It sounds really weird, and it looks really weird, but it worked.”  

For Nick, football and music hold essential similarities when it comes to the preparation, discipline, and collaboration that both pursuits require. His work habits have served him well throughout his time at IC, particularly during his junior year when, on top of his busy game schedule, he played the lead role of Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, took a master class with leading opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, and successfully performed his junior recital, all of which required rigorous preparation.  

“I couldn’t live without the practice rooms at IC.” 

“For my recital, I was looking at learning 14 pieces in five different languages from memory,” explained Nick, who usually hits the practice rooms two to three hours a day at various times throughout each day: “I couldn’t live without the practice rooms at IC.

Last summer, after participating in IC's Opera Studio program and at the suggestion of his IC advisor Mark Webster, Nick enrolled in Si Parla Si Canta, a four-week program in northern Italy. The program afforded him the opportunity to train with accomplished opera singers and perform throughout Italy. “I feel my time in Italy compressed everything: memorization and practice habits. And I love singing in Italian,” said Nick.

What’s next for this rising opera singer? Nick plans to continue his vocal performance studies in graduate school. The ultimate dream? “I’d like to perform on stage at the Met,” he said, smiling. “Most of all, I just want to continue to enjoy performing.” 


A collection of introductions to the Ithaca College story—about those who continue to write it.
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