Spanish mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera enjoyed great successes this past December at the Metropolitan Opera as Herodias in Salome where “she stole the show with her full voice that cut the orchestra” and as Fenena in Nabucco. Prior to her engagements at the Met, she began the 2016-17 season at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid as Cecilia in Las Golondrinas, a role which she just reprised in February at Teatro Compoamor in Oviedo. Other highlights of 2016 included a very auspicious role debut of Eboli in Don Carlo at Teatro de Canal in Madrid and her much anticipated debut at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow as Sara in Roberto Devereux. She brought her critically acclaimed interpretation of Salud in La Vida Breve to the Cincinnati Symphony (“[She] inhabited her role with passion and fiery emotion; …the pain of her betrayal was palpable and she communicated with a powerful voice, able to soar over the full orchestra with ease.”) and subsequently added the Gran Teatro Nacional in Lima, Peru, to the long list of theaters where she has performed her signature role of Carmen.
Early 2015 found Ms. Herrera in Menorca where she triumphed as “the perfect Carmen.” She also appeared in Sochi, Russia in a gala concert performance of the same opera. Just prior she had returned to Ópera de Oviedo as Dalila in a new production where she garnered wonderful reviews as “a sensual and powerful Dalila, demonstrating the rich nuances of such a multifaceted role, offering a second act to be remembered.” Calendar year 2015 ended with Ms. Herrera returning to the Met to reprise Maddelena (Rigoletto) which she had sung in their new production that premiered in 2013.
Ms. Herrera began the 2014-15 season with her debut with the Washington National Opera as Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas, subsequently taking the same role to the Los Angeles Opera where once again she received glowing reviews. In summer of 2014 she returned as Carmen to the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome following performances of the same role that spring with Opera Australia in Melbourne and Sydney to great acclaim: “Nancy Fabiola Herrera invests Carmen with sensuous magnetism that attracts an almost hypnotic attention. She is danger personified, and those she attracts are playing with fire. Her allure rests not only in her charismatic stage presence but in the richness and warmth of a voice which is wonderfully even across its range yet capable of a wide spectrum of colours that perfectly match mood with text.”
Carmen is undoubtedly Ms. Herrera’s signature role. Her hypnotic portrayal has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Bolshoi Theatre, New National Theatre in Tokyo, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich Bayerische Staatsoper, Baths of Caracalla, Dresden Semperoper, Masada Festival, the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, Los Angeles Opera (where she received the Plácido Domingo Award for her performance of this role), Teatro Bellas Artes in México, and other Spanish theaters such as Sabadell Opera, Teatro Villamarta de Jerez, San Sebastian, Teatro Pérez Galdós in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santander and Lyric Opera of A Coruña among others, and the list keeps growing. In summer 2009 she opened the season at the Arena di Verona as Carmen and was honored to perform Act IV of the opera with Plácido Domingo in his 40th Anniversary Gala at the Arena.
Every season finds Ms. Herrera with a busy recital and concert schedule. Notable engagements have included the Verdi Requiem at Palau de la Musica in Valencia and Festival Casals in Puerto Rico, Amor Brujo with the Bremen Symphony under the baton of M° Josep Pons, and La Vida Breve in Madrid at the National Auditorium with M° Juanjo Mena and in Touluse with Orchestre de Capitole. She has also sung La Vida Breve at the Tangelwood Festival, with Toronto Symphony, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with M° Frühbeck de Burgos. She performed a gala concert with Plácido Domingo in Santo Domingo, and has presented recitals in Bilbao, Seville, Bogotá, and in Vienna at the Musikverein. Her one woman show, Gitanas, has been seen in Madrid’s Teatro de La Zarzuela and Teatro Pérez Galdós of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In this show Ms. Herrera becomes immersed in the charm and passion of the gypsy universe, interpreting some of the most fascinating characters in the world of opera, zarzuela, and the symphonic repertoire.
Other roles Ms. Herrera has performed include Charlotte in Werther (Opera de Oviedo), Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena (Teatro Liceu de Barcelona), Isabella in Italiana in Algeri (Jerez and Las Palmas), Giulietta in Tales of Hoffmann (Opera Bastille and Seattle), Adalgisa in Norma (Montpellier), Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte (Toulon, Tokyo, and Caramoor Festival in New York), Pauline in Pique Dame (Teatro Real in Madrid), Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus (Las Palmas), Rosina in Barbiere di Siviglia (Sabadell, Philadelphia, Buffalo, México, and Uruguay), Baba the Turk in The Rake´s Progress (Las Palmas), and Romeo in I Capuletti ed i Montecchi (Tulsa) among others.
Among many of the world’s leading conductors with whom Ms. Herrera has worked are Daniel Oren, Marco Armiliato, Fabio Luisi, Gustavo Dudamel, Juanjo Mena, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Giuseppe Finzi, Eugene Kohn, Plácido Domingo, Jesús López Cobos, Michel Plasson, Philippe Jordan, Charles Dutoit, Yaron Traub, Paul Daniels, Brian Castles-Onion, Antonello Allemandi, Pedro Halffter, Alain Guingal, Maximiano Valdés, José Miguel Pérez-Sierra, Emmanuel Villaume, Friedrich Haider, and Grant Gershon. Among the orchestras with which she has appeared are the Symphony Orchestra of Bremen, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Sinfónica de Montevideo Philharmonic, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, in recitals she has collaborated with pianists Rubén Fernández, Mac Mclure, Steven Blier, Daniele Orlando, David Lofton, and Lucy Arner to name a few. Ms. Herrera continues to collaborate with almost all of the Spanish symphonic ensembles including the RTVE, Orquesta Nacional de España, Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Sinfónica de Euskadi, Orquesta de Valencia, Orchestra of Euskadi, Gran Canaria, and Oviedo Filarmonia.
Her recordings include La Bruja by Chapí for Deutsche Grammophon, Dante by Granados for ASV, Tonades of the XVII & XVIII Century by Robert Gerhard for Columna Musica, Mahler´s 3rd Symphony for Arte Nova, El Amor Brujo by de Falla for Naxos, and Concierto Italiano by Ricardo Llorca. This past fall, she launched her new CD “Ensueños” with pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre in which they interpret works by P. Viardot, I. Albéniz, E. Granados, X. Montsalvatge, A. García Abril, and M. Ortega. Ms. Herrera also has two DVDs to her credit – the opera Il Postino by Daniel Catán and the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda, both with Plácido Domingo.
Upcoming for Ms. Herrera is her appearance at the Giacomini gala in Carnegie Hall singing mon coeur on April 4th, a return to the Met this spring for more performances in Rigoletto and performances next fall as Fenena in Nabucco with Los Angeles Opera and Plácido Domingo in the title role.