Soprano Nancy Curtis enjoys a multifaceted career as a singer of opera, oratorio, symphonic repertoire, and recitals. A native of Arkansas, Curtis began her love of music at an early age, singing and playing the piano with her mother. After graduating with honors from Baylor University with a degree in Music, Nancy earned a prestigious position to study at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Italy as well as the Dante Alghieri School in Florence, Italy and the Goethe Institute in Rothenburg, Germany. Nancy’s commitment to her artistry has drawn praise from colleagues, audiences, and critics alike, and she is in demand as a vocalist and teacher.
Hailed as a “stand-out”, Curtis enjoys an active opera career. Recently featured as Musetta in La Boheme with the Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Curtis was “brilliant and biting, warm … a paragon of both physical and vocal acting.” As Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Skylight Opera Theater, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stated that “Curtis’ voice is beautiful no matter what and is informed by a touching sensitivity to the musical phrase.” Other opera credits include Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with the Virginia Opera; Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with the New York City Opera; Pamina in The Magic Flute with the San Antonio Symphony; and First Lady and Papagena in The Magic Flute, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and the High Priestess in Aida with the Tulsa Opera where she was proclaimed as “wonderful.” In addition, Ms. Curtis has also sung the role of Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Ars Lyrica Houston; Abigail Williams in The Crucible with the American Festival for the Arts under the direction of the composer, Robert Ward; Miffie in the premiere of The Achilles Heel and First Nursemaid in Street Scene with Houston Grand Opera; Gilda in Rigoletto with the Tacoma Opera where she was called “the evening’s most powerful voice,” as well as Laurie Moss in The Tender Land, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring and Genevieve in Suor Angelica. This highly versatile singer has also been featured as the soprano soloist with many outstanding symphony orchestras. In an appearance with the Houston Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra singing the Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams, Curtis “soared authoritatively over the chorus and orchestra.” Ms. Curtis has also been presented as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Arkansas Symphony, where she was hailed as “the afternoon’s biggest hit.” Other concert credits include Mahler’s Symphony #4 and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Tulsa Philharmonic and Ballet, and Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, where her voice was referred to as “extraordinary.” She has also had appearances with the Victoria Bach Festival, the San Antonio Symphony, the Mid Texas Symphony, OrchestraX, the Houston Choral Society, Texas Music Festival, and the International Festival Institute at Round Top. Curtis is equally at home in early music. She recently had the privilege of presenting the Houston premiere of Handel’s Gloria with Ars Lyrica Houston. This newly discovered work is a coloratura masterpiece for the soprano. Her other early music credits include Charpentier’s Christmas Cantata and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Early Music Southwest, Bach’s Cantata 184 with the Victoria Bach Festival, Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata with Ars Lyrica Houston at the International Festival Institute at Round Top, and Caldara’s Christmas Cantata with Mercury Baroque.
Curtis’ “warm expressive singing” has also captured the attention of many important political figures. Nancy has been invited to sing for many of our nation’s leaders including former Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Curtis has also had the privilege of singing our National Anthem for the Houston Texans, the Houston Rockets, and Houston Comets, as well as for the Texas Republican Convention and Texas Prayer Breakfast in Austin. But of all the wonderful experiences she has had, her favorite role is being a mom! Nancy lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and son, R.J.