Equally at home performing a variety of musical styles including opera, classical song, cabaret, and concert arias, mezzo-soprano Nan Hughes has established an illustrious and diverse career that has taken her around the world many times over.
As winner of the Artist International competition, she gave her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall in the fall of 1994. In December of 1996, she again appeared in recital in New York, this time at Merkin Hall. The New York Times praised her "appealingly light, flexible timbre," her "sensitivity to the text" and her "graceful and thoughtfully shaped phrases."
Solo orchestral appearances include the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, in Vienna and Eisenstadt; the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Orchestra in Hamburg (in a special live broadcast of Pendereçki's music, conducted by the composer); the Dnipropetrovsk Symphony Orchestra in Kiev; the Calgary, Edmonton, London, and Vancouver symphonies in Canada; and the Charlotte Symphony in North Carolina. She has toured throughout Europe, the United States, Ukraine and Brazil as soloist with New York's Continuum chamber music ensemble. In Macedonia, she filmed Buzarovski's Songs of Peace and War for Macedonian television.
Operatic engagements have included creating the role of Katherine Anne Porter in Coppola's Sacco & Vanzetti (Opera Tampa, 2000), Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Prince Charming in Massenet's Cendrillon, Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and the Mother in Menotti's Amahl & the Night Visitors, with such companies as Aspen Opera Theater, Berkshire Opera, Bronx Opera, Brooklyn's Il Piccolo Teatro Dell'Opera and Opera Antica.
Other career highlights include a televised performance at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico; a contemporary recital at New York's Museum of Modern Art; performances at the Warsaw Autumn festival, and singing with the Boston Pops. She has appeared as alto soloist in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra (2004); in the Canadian premiere of Pendereçki's Credo at the Banff Centre (2000); and in Verdi's Falstaff in a concert version with the Calgary Philharmonic (1999).
As part of her growing discography, she is featured on four Continuum recordings: Ruth Crawford Seeger: American Visionary (Musical Heritage), Miracles: Lawrence Moss (Capstone), Valentin Bibik (Troppe Note/Cambria), and Leonid Hrabovsky (Troppe Note/Cambria) and on a CD featuring the music of Romanian composer Sabin Pautza (Swift).
Ms. Hughes attended the Juilliard Opera Center. She holds a Master of Music degree from Boston University (a Dean's scholar) and a BA (cum laude) from Harvard. Nan Hughes serves on the faculty of the Banff Centre for Arts as a visiting artist.