COURTESY OF WILMINGTON MUSIC FESTIVAL
Opera The Rallises wow audiences
— and each other — with
their arias B y S i m o n G o n z a l e z
MICHAEL AND NIKOLETA RALLIS ARE ENGAGING IN A NONTRADITIONAL GAME OF ONE-UPMANSHIP.
The father and daughter are Wrightsville Beach’s first family of opera. Michael, a tenor, mainly performs locally and
regionally. Nikoleta, a soprano, now lives and performs in New York City and has graced stages in Italy and Greece.
Accolades are common for both. Michael was lauded for his “cool, confident and vocally convincing portrayal”
after a performance of “Pagliacci” in Durham. His rendition of “Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera”
at Thalian Hall “left many women in the hall in tears.” The Italian press called Rallis “a tenor reminiscent
of Franco Corelli” after a performance in Verona.
Nikoleta has been acclaimed for her “substantial expressive range” and “beautiful tone,” and
for “hitting high notes the way LeBron James slam-dunks.” A New York critic said she “has
a warm and beautiful voice and uses it skillfully in negotiating challenging tessitura and in
But rather than comparing news clippings as they sit in the living room of the soundside
family home on North Lumina, they are trying to outdo each other with compliments.
Michael enjoys performing with his daughter because “when you’re singing
with somebody better than you, it lifts you up. There’s something about the
exposure of singing with world-class people like Nikole that teaches
you how to immerse yourself into the role, and each word, and how
these brilliant composers have crafted each musical line to bring
out the essence.”
Left: Michael Rallis and his daughter, Nikoleta Rallis, at the
family’s Wrightsville Beach home. Top, left to right: Nikoleta
performs with her husband, Aza Sydykov, at Nichols Concert Hall
in Chicago in 2016. Aza, Nancy King and Michael at the Wilmington
Music Festival in 2017. The inaugural event was performed before a
packed house at Thalian Hall.