Nancy Argenta

Voice/Instrument: Soprano


Born: January 17, 1957 - Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

The Canadian soprano, Nancy Argenta (real name: Herbison), was born and raised in Canada, but moved to England in 1982. She spent her early years in the settlement of Argenta, from which she later took her professional name. She was a student of Jacob Hann in Vancouver and of Martin Chambers at the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1980. The same year she won 1st prize in the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramastté Competition. After further training with Jacqueline Richard in Düsseldorf from 1980 to 1981, she settled in London and completed her studies. Among her teachers there were Sir Peter Pears, Gérard Souzay and Vera Rosza with whom she works occasionally even today.

In 1983 Nancy Argenta attracted critical attention as La Chasseuresse in Rameau’ Hyppolyte at Aricie at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Since making her professional debut in 1983 she has established a reputation as one of the foremost sopranos of her generation. She is generally regarded as "the supreme Handel soprano of our age". However, this probably fails to show her wide range of repertoire, as she is also a renowned interpreter of J.S. Bach, Purcell, Mozart, Schubert and even Arnold Schoenberg. Her repertoire stretches from the 17th century to the present and comprises songs as well as oratorio and opera.

Nancy Argenta works with several of the great English conductors and orchestras, but is also interested in working with fewer musicians. This is why she regularly performs with some of London's most famous chamber music ensembles. She goes on concert tours with all of these partners, but also with recital evenings and can be heard at many of the international festivals, e.g. at Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Bath, Berlin, Göttingen, New York, and Vienna, and, of course, she often performs in the various concert halls in London. She has worked with the most of the leading Early Music conductors on both sides of the Atlantic.

Nancy Argenta has recorded widely, winning prizes and critical acclaim not only for her Baroque interpretation, but also for a disc of Schubert’s Lieder. 

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Composers' compositions