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 the Los Angeles Opera and the Paris Opera;  Klytemnestra for the 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, and Auntie (“Peter Grimes”) with Rattle and the Kabanicka ("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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Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles

CHIN: Alice in Wonderland (staged with video)

Susanna Mälkki, conductor

Netia Jones, director/video artist

Rachele Gilmore, Alice
Marie Arnet, Cat
Jane Henschel, Queen of Hearts
Andrew Watts, White Rabbit/Badger/March Hare
Jenni Bank, Duchess

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Members of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus
Los Angeles Children's Chorus

Barbican Hall, London

CHIN: Alice in Wonderland (staged with video)

Rachele Gilmore, Alice
Marie Arnet, Cat
Jane Henschel, Queen of Hearts 
Stephen Richardson, King of Hearts, Old Man 2, Crab 
Jenni Bank, Duchess 
Andrew Watts, White Rabbit, Badger, March Hare 
Dietrich Henschel, Mad Hatter 

Baldur Brönnimann, conductor
Netia Jones, director / designer and video artist
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Singers

Further information here

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Click here to read Claire Seymour's interview with Jane Henschel for Opera Today, published 16 June 2011

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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