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 Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre de Radio France under Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Lorin Maazel, Sir Simon Rattle, Marek Janowski, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis and Michael Schønwandt. Her recordings include Krasa Verlobung im Traum with Lothar Zagrosek (Decca), Baba the Turk in Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Ozawa (Philips Classics), Albeniz Merlin with Placido Domingo (Grammy Award, 2001) and Henry Clifford (both for Decca), Britten The Turn of the Screw with Daniel Harding (EMI/Virgin - Gramophone Award 2003) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Rattle (EMI).
In opera, Jane Henschel has sung Baba the Turk at the Glyndebourne, Saito Kinen and Salzburg Festivals; Brangäne (Wagner Tristan und Isolde) for Los Angeles Opera and the Opéra national de Paris; Klytemnestra (Strauss Elektra) for San Francisco Opera, the Principessa (Puccini Suor Angelica) with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Chailly, Poulenc Les Dialogues des Carmélites in Amsterdam; Kostelnicka (Janáček Jenufa) under Ozawa in Japan, Auntie (Britten Peter Grimes) with Rattle, and the Kabanicha (Janáček Katya Kabanova) for the Salzburg Festival.
For The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden she has sung Fricka (Wagner Die Walküre) and Waltraute (Wagner Götterdämmerung) under Bernard Haitink, Ulrica (Verdi Un ballo in maschera) under Gatti, Klytemnestra under Christian Thielemann and Sir Mark Elder, Mrs Grose (Britten The Turn of the Screw) under Colin Davis and Harding, and Erda in the new Ring Cycle under Antonio Pappano; at Teatro alla Scala, Milan she has sung Herodias (Strauss Salome) under Myung-whun Chung, Cassandre (Berlioz Les Troyens) under Colin Davis, and Waltraute under Riccardo Muti. Her roles at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich include Herodias, Klytemnestra, Ulrica, Mistress Quickly (Verdi Falstaff) and Ortrud (Wagner Lohengrin); at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin Klytemnestra, Herodias and Ortrud; at the Wiener Staatsoper, Klytemnestra, Mistress Quickly and Fricka; and Mistress Quickly for Los Angeles Opera under Kent Nagano. It is the Amme (Strauss 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 Wiener Staatsoper for Salome and Katya Kabanova, the Dresdner Semperoper for Salome, the Staatstheater Stuttgart for Eugene Onegin and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for Salome. This season’s highlights include Auntie (Britten Peter Grimes) at the Oper Frankfurt and Herodias in concert at the Staatsoper Hannover with Donald Runnicles.