American mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby is in demand by opera companies and orchestras throughout the world. Her unique vocal timbre and insightful musicianship allow her to pursue a repertoire extending from the operas of Monteverdi and Handel to recent works by John Adams. She regularly performs the major heroines of nineteenth-century French, Italian, and German opera and the great symphonic masterpieces.
Highlights of Nancy Maultsby’s future and recent seasons include performances as Genevieve in Pelléas et Mélisande at the Los Angeles Opera, directed by David McVicar and conducted by James Conlon, and the Cleveland Orchestra in a new semi-staged production by Yuval Sharon, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, as well as at Cincinnati Symphony with Louis Langrée in a staging by James Darrah. At the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Maultsby performed the role of Julia in Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar, a reimagining of the classic piece by Yuval Sharon, which was later released on recording, and Bianca in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of The Rape of Lucretia. Ms. Maultsby also performed Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Indianapolis Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem with the Florida Orchestra, Akron Symphony and Eugene Symphony. Ms. Maultsby was also featured in performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the San Antonio Symphony conducted by Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Edward Polochick, as well as a return to Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Ježibaba in Dvořák’s Rusalka.
Nancy Maultsby’s other recent engagements include her role debut as Gaea in Strauss’ Daphne with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz Welser-Möst at Severance Hall in Cleveland and at New York’s Lincoln Center Festival; her role debut as Mrs. Sedley with the St. Louis Symphony in Britten’s Peter Grimes under the baton of David Robertson at Powell Hall in St. Louis and at Carnegie Hall, with additional performances of the role at the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; her role debut as Mamma Lucia in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Donald Runnicles, the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst, and with the Florida Orchestra; Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the San Diego Symphony conducted by Jahja Ling; Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra; and Verdi’s Requiem with the Pacific Chorale and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Maultsby’s operatic career has included a wide range of roles in some of the world’s most prestigious houses. In the United States, she has performed principal roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Das Rheingold, Siegfried, Götterdammerung, La Gioconda, Pique Dame), San Francisco Opera (Carmen), Seattle Opera (Das Rheingold, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Werther, Carmen, Die Fledermaus), Washington National Opera (Falstaff, Siegfried), Boston Lyric Opera (Rusalka, Un Ballo in Maschera), Florida Grand Opera (Giulio Cesare), Santa Fe Opera (Falstaff, Tea: A Mirror of Soul), Minnesota Opera (Aida), Opera Colorado (Un Ballo in Maschera, Giulio Cesare), Opera Philadelphia (Tea: A Mirror of Soul), Opera Theatre of St. Louis (The Death of Klinghoffer), Pittsburgh Opera (Carmen), Palm Beach Opera (Aida), Michigan Opera Theatre (Aida), Opera Colorado (Il Trovatore), and Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Il Trovatore).
Internationally, her extensive career has taken her to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Die Ägyptische Helena), Teatro dell’Opera in Rome (Oedipus Rex), Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Carmen), Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa (Norma), Opéra de Montréal (Bluebeard’s Castle, Aida), Staatsoper Stuttgart (Die Walküre), Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy (Oedipus Rex), Semperoper Dresden (Oedipus Rex), De Nederlandse Opera (Rigoletto) and the Greek National Opera in Athens (Aida, Oedipus Rex, L’incoronazione di Poppea).
Throughout her career, she has enjoyed frequent engagements with many leading conductors, including collaborations with Zubin Mehta, Alan Gilbert, Gerard Schwarz, Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnányi, Kurt Masur, Edo de Waart, James Conlon, Yuri Temirkanov, Sir Andrew Davis, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Chailly, Patrick Summers, David Zinman, Peter Oundjian, Jeffrey Kahane, David Robertson, Stephen Lord, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bruno Bartoletti, Robert Abbado, Michael Christie, Robert Spano, Christian Thielemann, Sebastian Lang Lessing, Franz Welser-Möst, Neeme Järvi, Tan Dun, the late Hans Vonk, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leonard Slatkin, and the late Robert Shaw.
Ms. Maultsby’s orchestral repertoire extends from the Baroque to the most important works of the twentieth century. Her regular collaborations with America’s leading orchestras include concerts with the New York Philharmonic (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Béatrice et Bénédict, Messiah), Philadelphia Orchestra (Verdi Requiem), Cleveland Orchestra (Glagolitic Mass, Verdi Requiem), Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Glagolitic Mass), Los Angeles Philharmonic (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), San Francisco Symphony (Alexander Nevsky), Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Alexander Nevsky), Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Glagolitic Mass), Seattle Symphony (Bluebeard’s Castle, Mozart Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (“Jeremiah” Symphony, El Niño, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (The Rake’s Progress), St. Louis Symphony (Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Alexander Nevsky), Colorado Symphony (Verdi Requiem), Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Verdi Requiem), Houston Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony (Bach Mass in b minor), Rochester Philharmonic (Aida, Messiah), Florida Orchestra (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), IRIS Orchestra (Elgar’s Sea Pictures), Indianapolis Symphony (Messiah), and the Brooklyn Philharmonic (The Death of Klinghoffer). She has sung at every major U.S. festival, including Ravinia (El Niño), Tanglewood, Saratoga, Aspen, Grant Park (Alexander Nevsky), Eastern Music Festival, and the Cincinnati May Festival.
The particularly rich quality of Ms. Maultsby’s vocal timbre is a natural fit with the music of Gustav Mahler. She has sung his Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra (Dohnányi), Minnesota Orchestra (de Waart), Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Temirkanov), National Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Spano), on tour with the Israel Philharmonic (Mehta), Aspen Music Festival, Orchestre National de France (Conlon), Australian Broadcasting Company (de Waart), Brooklyn Philharmonic, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, Nashville Symphony (Slatkin), and the New Jersey Symphony. Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 has taken her to the orchestras of Cleveland (Welser-Möst), Minnesota, St. Louis (including Carnegie Hall), Detroit (Järvi), Baltimore (Temirkanov, Zinman), Atlanta (Levi), New Jersey (Macal), Hong Kong (de Waart), and West Australia. She has also performed the Symphony No. 8 with the New York Philharmonic (Maazel), Los Angeles Philharmonic (Salonen), Seattle Symphony (Schwarz), Minnesota Orchestra, Cincinnati May Festival, Nashville Symphony, and in Amsterdam; Das Lied von der Erde with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Aspen Festival, Brooklyn, Syracuse, Eastern Music Festival, and Sydney; Kindertotenlieder with the Baltimore Symphony (Temirkanov) and Orchestra della Toscana (Bartoletti); Das Knaben Wunderhorn with Rochester; Das Klagende Lied with the American Symphony Orchestra; and Rückert Lieder conducted by Gerard Schwarz for a recording by PBS.
In addition to a recording of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Antonio Pappano, Max Bruch’s Odysseus, and Telarc’s highly-acclaimed recording of Mozart’s Requiem – the premiere recording on period instruments with the Boston Baroque – Ms. Maultsby can be heard on Telarc’s recording of Dido and Aeneas, also with the Boston Baroque. She is featured on box sets honoring Christoph von Dohnányi and the Cleveland Orchestra (Mahler’s Symphony No. 2) and Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic (Debussy’s St. Sebastian). Her recent recordings include the Lamentation from Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 (“Jeremiah”) with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony for Telarc, Richard Yardumian’s Symphony No. 2 with the Singapore Symphony on BIS, and Wagner opera excerpts on Naxos.
Ms. Maultsby, a North Carolina native, is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where she studied with Lindsey Christiansen, and was a graduate student at Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Margaret Harshaw. She is an alumna of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Center for American Artists. Among numerous other awards, she is the winner of the Marian Anderson Award and the Martin E. Segal Award. She is on voice faculty at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.
“Nancy Maultsby’s huge, rich mezzo-soprano made a remarkable impact as Judith.”
“[In Das Lied von der Erde] Ms. Maultsby’s plangent reading of “Der Abschied,” the work’s finale, had a soul-shaking directness.”
“Nancy Maultsby as Marilyn Klinghoffer wins our hearts, as she must. She has been given a marvelously varied scena to close the show, its vocal demands as wide-ranging as its emotions which span anguished loss, unbridled anger, and hopeless resolution — a potent distillation of Middle East truth and consequences in one, unbearably intense Geschrei. Ms. Maultsby is possessed of an uncommonly rich mezzo, unwavering at full dramatic force, and meltingly responsive in the role’s legato passages. “
Death of Klinghoffer, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Today
“…and mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby as the gypsy Azucena. Both alluring, dramatic voices (referring to rich and robust vocal qualities that easily project above the sound of an orchestra) brought heft, fullness and emotion to Verdi’s many sumptuous arias, as well as the pianissimo lyricism and powerful outbursts their parts demand…Maultsby’s agility and sensitive portrayal of profound grief, heart-rending psychological conflict and a dose of willfulness drove home the most persuasive performance of the night. “
Il Trovatore, Opera Colorado, Denver Post
“Strongest of the bunch was Nancy Maultsby as Azucena the gypsy women and mother of Manrico. The rage and horror in the recounting of pushing her own son into the fire rather than the wicked count’s in her aria “Condotta ell’era in ceppi” was gripping and suitably shocking. Her prone entrance in the fourth act trio, as though she were singing in her sleep, was magical. “
Il Trovatore, Lyric Opera of Kansas City