Janice Watson studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and first came to prominence as winner of the Kathleen Ferrier memorial award.
In opera, Ms Watson has sung Pamina with the Paris Opera; Vitellia for the Flanders Opera; Strauss’ Daphne, Arabella, Salome and Mozart’s Elettra (Idomeneo) at the Santa Fe Festival; Daphne, Arabella and Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) with the San Francisco Opera; Pamina, Countess Almaviva and Arabella at the Bavarian State Opera; Ellen Orford at the Vienna State Opera, Netherlands Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Opera di San Carlo, Naples; Britten’s Gloriana under Richard Hickox at the Aldeburgh Festival; Countess Almaviva for the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin and in Tokyo, Micaela at both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera, and both Countess Almaviva and Liu at the Metropolitan Opera. She has been a regular guest with both English National Opera (most recently as the Marschallin and Madame Butterfly) and Welsh National Opera (most recently as Alice Ford). She returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for Jennifer (The Midsummer Marriage), to the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin for Salome and Elsa in Lohengrin, made her debut with Opera Australia as Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) and sang Katja Kabanova for the Royal Opera, the Oviedo Opera and in her debut at La Scala, Milan. She made her debut with the Hamburgische Staatsoper as Elsa, sang her first Lenora (Fidelio) in Beijing and her first Elisabetta (Don Carlos) for Opera North, which was also recorded for Chandos. She also performed in A Streetcar Named Desire under Andre Previn with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic and in the new production at the Theater an der Wien.
She has appeared in concert with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under both Norrington and Previn, the San Francisco Symphony under Tilson-Thomas, the London Symphony Orchestra under Colin Davis, Previn and Chailly, the Orchestre de Paris under Brüggen, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields under Marriner, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Haitink and Järvi, and both the Chicago Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras under Riccardo Chailly.
Her many recordings include Orff's Carmina Burana for Virgin Classics, Poulenc's Gloria for Chandos and Howells' Missa Sabrinensis under Rozhdestvensky. She recorded Ellen Orford under Richard Hickox for Chandos (for which she received a Grammy Award) and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis on the LSO Live label; Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream under Sir Colin Davis for Philips Classics and the title role in Jenufa under Sir Charles Mackerras for Chandos.
Ms Watson's current engagements include Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites) in Valencia, Leonora (Fidelio) for the Brighton Festival and Katja in a new production for the Vienna State Opera.