Carol Vaness’s repertoire includes Handel’s Alcina, Barber’s Cleopatra, Leonora in Il trovatore, Elena in I vespri Siciliani, Elisabetta in Don Carlos, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra and Desdemona in Otello. Vaness became identified with Tosca. She has appeared as the Roman diva in Paris, at the Met, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among many others. She also became famous for Iphigénie en Tauride, Anna Bolena and Norma.
She sang Leonore in Beethoven’s work of that name in 2000 at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and appeared as Alice Ford in Falstaff in Toulouse in June 2002. Vaness starred as Nivian in the world premiere of Albeniz’s Merlin, at the Teatro Real in Madrid in June 2003. She created a stir as Lady Macbeth at the Netherlands Opera in 2003. She also starred in the first performance of Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra in New York in over twenty years, when the American Symphony Orchestra performed the work at Carnegie Hall under Stephen Sloane.
Carol Vaness returned to the Met in 2004 as Tosca opposite Luciano Pavarotti. She also sang the same role in Madrid and Hamburg and gave her first performance of Barber’s Vanessa, in Amsterdam. In the 2000–2005 season, Vaness performed Werther in Monte Carlo. She was Tosca in San Francisco and Austin. In Seattle she sang Manon Lescaut, She appeared in San Diego and in a recital at the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2005 she sang Santuzza in Amsterdam.
Carol Vaness was born in San Diego and finished her masters degree at California State University Northridge, where some years later she was awarded an honorary doctorate. She made her professional debut as Vitellia for San Francisco Spring Opera. She debuted at the Met in Rinaldo, at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Mimi, at the Paris Opéra as Nedda, opposite Jon Vickers, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan as Elettra in Idomeneo and as Donna Anna at the Vienna State Opera and the Bavarian State Opera. She bowed at the Salzburg Festival as Vitellia and at the Glyndebourne Festival as Donna Anna. She has appeared at the Australian Opera, where she sang her first performances of Trovatore and Ballo. Vaness repeatedly has been a guest at all these theaters over the years and alongside the above roles she also has been heard as Manon. Further appearances included Marguerite (Rome, Met), Handel’s Samson (Covent Garden, Met), Blanche de la Force (San Francisco), Elena (Vienna State, San Francisco), Mathilde in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (Vienna, San Francisco) Tatyana in Eugene Onegin (Canadian Opera) and in Iphigénie en Tauride (La Scala). Her opera career concluded in 2006 with the Marschallin in Seattle.
Carol Vaness has collaborated with Muti, Mehta, Davis, Haitink, von Dohnanyi, Maazel, Ozawa, Gergiev, Sawallisch, Levine and Solti.
Her discography includes Tosca with the Philadelphia Orchestra (Philips); two recordings of Don Giovanni, respectively as Donna Anna and Donna Elvira (both Angel/EMI); and Iphigénie en Tauride from La Scala (Sony Classical). She recorded an album of Mozart arias for BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal, a collection of Haydn masses with Neville Marriner for Philips, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Tate for Angel/EMI, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with von Dohnanyi for Telarc, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Bychkov for Philips and the Verdi Requiem with Davis, also for Philips. Most recently released are a recording of Idomeneo with Levine for Deutsche Grammophon and an album of Diva Scenes for BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal.