Nancy Gustafson has performed in opera houses around the world including the Metropolitan Opera; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro alla Scala, Milan; the Opéra National, Paris; Chicago Lyric Opera; the Bavarian State Opera, Munich; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Hamburg State Opera; and many others. She has enjoyed an especially close relationship with the Vienna State Opera: in 2001 she was honored there with the title of Kammersängerin. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Gustafson received her bachelor degree and an honorary doctorate from Mount Holyoke College and her master of music degree from Northwestern University. She made her debut at Chicago Lyric Opera as Marguerite in Faust, at the Metropolitan Opera as Musetta in La bohème, and at the San Francisco Opera in Wagner’s Ring.
Throughout her career Nancy Gustafson has had the privilege to collaborate with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Simon Rattlle, Riccardo Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Christian Thielemann, Christoph von Dohnányi, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Marcello Viotti, and many more. She has appeared internationally in concert and recently won special praise for her interpretations of Strauss’s Four Last Songs and the final scene in Salomein concerts with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras.
Her recordings include Das Rheingold with Cleveland Orchestra for Decca; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and La bohème, both for Teldec; Lehár’s Der Tsarevitch and The Land of Smiles for Telarc, and live recordings of Herodiade (opposite Plácido Domingo) and Guillaume Tell with the Vienna State Opera.
Gustafson appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the final scene from Salome and at the Koeln Philharmonic in Cologne, Germany. She sang the title role of Salome at the Vienna State Opera and with the Arizona Opera, and the role of Ellen Orford with Teatro Regio in Torino, Italy. She was also the soprano soloist in the 100th Anniversary of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under the baton of Lorin Maazel in Duisburg, Germany.
Gustafson is the general manager of the Castleton Festival and an artist in residence at Northwestern University.