Jane Henschel


Jane Henschel was born in Wisconsin, studied at the University of Southern California and subsequently moved to Germany.

In concert she has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC Symphony and Philadelphia orchestras, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre de Radio France under Ozawa, Conlon, Maazel, Rattle, Janowski, Colin Davis, Andrew Davis and Schoenwandt. Her recordings include Krasa's "Verlobung im Traum" (Zagrosek for Decca), "The Rake's Progress" (Ozawa for Philips Classics),  Albeniz’ “Merlin” with Domingo (Grammy Award, 2001) and “Henry Clifford” (both for Decca), Britten’s “The Turn  of the Screw” (Daniel Harding for EMI/Virgin - Gramophone Award 2003) and Mahler’s 8th Symphony for EMI with the CBSO and Rattle.

In opera, Jane Henschel has sung Baba the Turk at the Glyndebourne, Saito Kinen and Salzburg Festivals; Brangäne for Los Angeles Opera and Paris Opera;  Klytemnestra for San Francisco Opera,  the Principessa (“Suor Angelica”) with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Chailly, "Dialogues des Carmélites" in Amsterdam; the Kostelnicka (“Jenufa”) under Ozawa in Japan, Auntie (“Peter Grimes”) with Rattle, and the Kabanicha ("Katya Kabanova") for the Salzburg Festival.

For The Royal Opera, Covent Garden she has sung Fricka and Waltraute under Haitink, Ulrica ("Un ballo in maschera") under Gatti, Klytemnestra under Thielemann and Sir Mark Elder, Mrs Grose (“The Turn of the Screw”) under Colin Davis and Daniel Harding, and Erda in the new “Ring” under Pappano; at La Scala, Milan she has sung Herodias under Chung, Cassandre ("Les Troyens") under Colin Davis, and Waltraute under Muti. Her roles at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich include Herodias, Klytemnestra, Ulrica, Mistress Quickly and Ortrud; at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin Klytemnestra, Herodias and Ortrud; at the Vienna State Opera Klytemnestra, Mistress Quickly and Fricka; and Mistress Quickly for Los Angeles Opera under Nagano. It is the Amme (Die Frau ohne Schatten) which has become her signature role, one which she has sung in Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Recent engagements include her return to the opera houses of London, Paris, Munich, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and New York, as well as concerts with the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and Boston Symphony orchestras. Her engagements include the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, and her returns to the Vienna State Opera and Dresden Semperoper.

Please contact Mary Donald for an updated biography and for performance details.

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Elektra / 21 October 2015

Carnegie Hall / Boston Symphony Orchestra

"Jane Henschel conveyed the royal agonies of Klytämnestra with vivid exclamation enhanced by poignant restraint. " Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times, 23 October 2015
"Jane Henschel ... sang Klytämnestra’s punishing music with clarity and ear-perfect pitch and played off Elektra’s madness with her own – this was a fearless confrontation, topped with a cruel laugh that seemed to drive Elektra even madder." Robert Levine, Bachtrack, 22 October 2015
"Jane Henschel...gave an incisive dignity to the tortured queen and alternated pin-pointedly accurate singing with penetrating sprechstimme" Huffington Post, 28 October 2015


Das Rheingold

Jahrhunderthalle Bochum

"...hält der Abend zwei große Momente bereit. Einen davon schenkt uns Jane Henschel als Erda, deren Bühnenpräsenz an Magie und deren brillant geführter, warmer Alt an ein Wunder grenzen." Kultur-Extra, Heiko Schon, 22 September 2015

Unsuk Chin

Alice in Wonderland

Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall

"The Queen of Hearts seems to have stepped out of a grand opera in an alternative universe, and soprano Jane Henschel was a delight."
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 1 March 2015
"But it was Jane Henschel who trumped them all as the beautifully irrational Queen of Hearts. Her commanding Brünnhilde-esque soprano and persona were just right in a role which can hardly be overdone."
Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice, 3 March 2015


Salome: 6 March 2014

Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons: Symphony Hall, Boston

"mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel brought power and presence to the role of Herodias" Jeremy Eichler / Boston Globe / 7 March 2014
"As Queen Herodias, Jane Henschel brought a rich mezzo-soprano tone to a role of one-liners where it had little chance to bloom, but she struck some fine, angry sparks off Siegel’s Herod as the action neared its tragic climax."

David Wright / Boston Classical Review / 7 March 2014
"Jane Henschel gave a strong and well-characterized performance"

Susan Stempleski / classicalsource.com / 7 March 2014



Carnegie Hall

"The veteran American mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel was wonderful as Herodias, Salome’s scheming mother." New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, 2 March 2014



Verizon Hall, Philadelphia

"Jane Henschel’s mezzo, extremely powerful and communicative, was the rarest of pleasures. Here is a singer for whom all musical decision flows from the text — with a low range that seems to come with its own resonance chamber." The Inquirer, Peter Dobrin, 12 May 2012




The Turn of the Screw
Royal Opera Covent Garden / Harding


Verlobung im Traum
Deutsches Symphony Orchestra / Zagrosek