Jane Henschel was born in Wisconsin, studied at the University of Southern California and subsequently moved to Germany.
In concert she has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, BBC Symphony and Philadelphia orchestras, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre de Radio France under Ozawa, Conlon, Maazel, Rattle, Janowski, Colin Davis, Andrew Davis and Schoenwandt. Her recordings include Krasa's "Verlobung im Traum" (Zagrosek for Decca), "The Rake's Progress" (Ozawa for Philips Classics), Albeniz’ “Merlin” with Domingo (Grammy Award, 2001) and “Henry Clifford” (both for Decca), Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” (Daniel Harding for EMI/Virgin - Gramophone Award 2003) and Mahler’s 8th Symphony for EMI with the CBSO and Rattle.
In opera, Jane Henschel has sung Baba the Turk at the Glyndebourne, Saito Kinen and Salzburg Festivals; Brangäne for the Los Angeles Opera and the Paris Opera; Klytemnestra for the San Francisco Opera, the Principessa (“Suor Angelica”) with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Chailly, "Dialogues des Carmélites" in Amsterdam; the Kostelnicka (“Jenufa”) under Ozawa in Japan, and Auntie (“Peter Grimes”) with Rattle and the Kabanicka ("Katya Kabanova") for the Salzburg Festival.
For The Royal Opera, Covent Garden she has sung Fricka and Waltraute under Haitink, Ulrica ("Un ballo in maschera") under Gatti, Klytemnestra under Thielemann and Sir Mark Elder, Mrs Grose (“The Turn of the Screw”) under Colin Davis and Daniel Harding, and Erda in the new “Ring” under Pappano; at La Scala, Milan she has sung Herodias under Chung, Cassandre ("Les Troyens") under Colin Davis, and Waltraute under Muti. Her roles at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich include Herodias, Klytemnestra, Ulrica, Mistress Quickly and Ortrud; at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin Klytemnestra, Herodias and Ortrud; at the Vienna State Opera Klytemnestra, Mistress Quickly and Fricka; and Mistress Quickly for Los Angeles Opera under Nagano. It is the Amme (Die Frau ohne Schatten) which has become her signature role, one which she has sung in Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Recent engagements include her return to the opera houses of London, Paris, Munich, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and New York, as well as concerts with the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and Boston Symphony orchestras. Her engagements include the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, and her returns to the Vienna State Opera and Dresden Semperoper.