headshot of Carla Thelen Hanson


Carla Thelen Hanson is garnering attention for exciting and vocally thrilling performances of opera's leading heroines throughout the country of her recent debut of Cio-Cio San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly the InForum declared: "the singer's star is shining bright...". Her debut in the role of Desdemona in Verdi's Otello at the Utah Festival Opera the Salt Lake City Tribune exclaimed "Hanson’s vocal range, exquisite control and emotional depth culminated in "Willow Song"; the sublime "Ave Maria" that followed was a masterpiece of tenderness and vulnerability. She also showed indomitable strength, defying Otello’s brutal efforts to make her confess a nonexistent sin in the final duet." Of her New York City Opera debut as Puccini's Tosca, The New York Times noted, "Ms. Hanson made a strong debut as Tosca, by turns fiery and vulnerable, her voice agreeably dark in its middle range and sufficiently full on top" and the New Yorker exclaims "her dark-grained, strongly felt "Vissi d'arte" sailed right up to the uppermost balcony." Of her Tosca at Utah Festival Opera the Desert News proclaimed her “outstanding” and her “Vissi d’arte” “heart piercing”.  Of her recent Fidelio the weekly InForum noted “Hers is a voice of great power and beauty and she essayed the difficult music with aplomb. Her first act aria was so beautifully done that it received a sustained three-minute ovation at the Friday performance." She received equal praise for portrayals of Maddalena de Coigny in Andrea Chenier for Mobile Opera, as well as the title roles of Ariadne auf Naxos and Norma, both with Union Ave Opera Theatre. For Seattle Opera’s 2009 Ring Cycles, she covered the 3 soprano Valkyries in Die Walkuere.

On the concert stage, Ms. Hanson performs with noted symphony orchestras across the country including acclaimed performances of Barber’s Hermit Songs, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Mass in C, Missa Solemnis, Handel’s Messiah and Ode to Queen Anne, Harbison’s Mirabai Songs, Libby Larsen's Try Me, Good King Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rutter's Feel the Spirit, Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder, Verdi’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Motet, and Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder.

Upcoming she sings Rosalinda in J. Strauss's Die Fledermaus with Nashville Opera, a German Art Song recital series throughout the Mid-West, and will debut a recording Chanson d'amour, a CD of song of love through out the world with her long time collaborator, Ainhoa Urkijo


BrittenAlbert HerringMrs. Herring
FloydSusannahSusannah Polk
GiordaniAndrea ChenierMaddelena
MozartLe nozze di FigaroContessa
PucciniLa BohemeMimi and Musetta
PucciniLa fanciulla del WestMinnie
PucciniLa RondineMagda
PucciniToscaFloria Tosca
PucciniMadama ButterflyCio-Cio San
Strauss, JDie FledermausRosalinde
Strauss, RAriadne auf NaxosAriadne/Prima Donna
Strauss, RSalomeSalome
VerdiUn ballo in MascheraAmelia
VerdiIl TrovatoreLeonora
VerdiLa TraviataVioletta
VerdiSimon BoccanegraAmelia
WagnerDer fliegende HolländerSenta
WagnerDer Ring des Nibelungen
GötterdammerungBrünnhilde, Woglinde
Das RheingoldWoglinde
Die WalküreBrünnhilde, Sieglinde, Gerhilde
WagnerTristan und IsoldeIsolde
Barber Hermit Songs
Beethoven Ah Perfido!, Choral Fantasia, Mass in C, Symphony No. 9
Handel Ode to Queen Anne, Messiah
Harbison Mirabai Songs
Mahler Symphony No. 4
Mendelssohn Elijah, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mozart Exsultate Jubilate
Orff Carmina Burana
Rutter Feel the Spirit
Strauss Vier letzte Lieder
Verdi Requiem
Vivaldi Gloria, Motetto, RV 157
Wagner Wesendonck Lieder


2015-2016 Schedule
Cio Cio SanMadame ButterflyFargo Moorhead Opera, 2015
RosalindeDie FledermausNashville Opera, 2016
2014-2015 Schedule
MendelssohnElijahKalamazoo Symphony, 2015
Spanish Art Song Recital with Ainhoa Urkijo,Piano Upper-Midwest Tour, 2014
German Composers RecitalRochester Chamber Music, 2014
2013-2014 Schedule
Libby LarsenTry Me, Good KingLuther College Recital, 2014
WagnerWesendonck LiederRochester Chamber Music, 2013
DesdemonaOtelloUtah Festival Opera, 2013
BeethovenMissa SolemnisUtah Festival Opera, 2013
Barber and Bolcom Concert with Belle JamesPiano University of Tennessee, 2013
BachCoffee CantataRochester Chamber Music, 2013

Press Acclaim

As Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly

From InForum

“The singer's star is shining bright...The soprano turned in an impressive performance in Festival Concert Hall at North Dakota State University, flexing a powerhouse voice and demonstrating great physical acting. While some opera characters employ a "park-and-bark" approach, Cio-Cio-san (Japanese for butterfly), is on stage most of the show, exhibiting not only a range of emotions, but also expressing herself with deliberate, graceful movements. singing of his eventual return in the beautiful aria, "Un Bel Di." Thelen Hanson's voice is so stunningly persuasive, she almost had the crowd willing to give Pinkerton another chance. Instead, they gave her a well-deserved round of applause following the number...Thelen Hanson shows great comic chops—a welcome surprise—as Cio-Cio-san mocks the all-too-easily disposable marriage bond....brought the crowd to its feet in applause.”

As Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Dramatic soprano Carla Thelen Hanson, who sang the title role last year in UFOMT's "Tosca," was Otello's wife, Desdemona. Hanson's vocal range, exquisite control and emotional depth culminated in "Willow Song"; the sublime "Ave Maria" that followed was a masterpiece of tenderness and vulnerability. She also showed indomitable strength, defying Otello's brutal efforts to make her confess a nonexistent sin in the final duet.”

From the Deseret News:

“Joining Bannister in lead roles were Carla Thelen Hanson as Desdemona and Jason Stearns as Iago, and both proved worthy of Verdi’s intentions. Hanson follows up her outstanding performance in last season’s “Tosca” with a memorable, flawless Desdemona. Hanson elevated her performance to a higher level with her first note. She has sterling dynamics, falling to a soft whisper that still manages to pierce the cockles of the audience members’ hearts, then powerfully rising to easily fill the entire theater. Hanson’s passion is constant, though seemingly effortless. Case in point: Desdemona’s prayer in Act 4 could not have been executed better.”

Beethoven Missa Solemnis:

From Salt Lake City Tribune:

“Soloists included soprano Carla Thelen Hanson (Desdemona in UFOMT's "Otello"), whose voice bloomed from a nearly imperceptible pianissimo to piercing strength...”



“Soprano Carla Thelen Hanson (Tosca) and tenor Jonathan Burton (Cavaradossi) own their roles. They brought depth, understanding, passion and expression to their portrayals. They were utterly credible, and as such they infused their characters with deep insight and great emotional power, but without falling into caricature. They are naturals for these roles. As wonderful as they are as actors, they are equally as stunning as singers. They brought emotion and feeling to their music. Hanson’s Act II “Vissi d’arte” and Burton’s Act III “E lucevan le stelle” are the vocal highpoints of this production.”


“UFOMT newcomers Carla Thelen Hanson and Jonathan Burton portray the ill-fated lovers Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi with consummate artistry. They are both gifted actors and each is splendid when performing solo, especially in their respective famous arias “Vissi d’arte” and “E lucevan le stele.” But when Hanson and Burton combine their soaring soprano and tenor voices in any of the opera’s duets, the result is literally spellbinding.”

Deseret News:

“Carla Thelen Hanson is an outstanding choice as Floria Tosca, a famous singer in the court. She interacts with painter Mario Cavaradossi (Johnathan Burton) as they tease and sing of their love. Their facial expressions and movements — particularly those of Hanson, playing the jealous diva — are wonderful accompaniments to their strong voices... Burton and Hanson could both give lessons on singing with passion and heart and not just to hit the right notes. Hanson’s Act II lamentation of love to Mario, as he is taken away for possible execution, was heart-piercing and reinforced how nearly flawless this third UFOMT production was.”

Salt Lake Tribune:

“The eponymous heroine, sung brilliantly by soprano Carla Thelen Hanson, performed the famous aria "Vissi d'arte" (I lived for art) passionately, soaring thrillingly to the melody's lofty heights.”

New York Times:

“Ms. Hanson made a strong debut as Tosca, by turns fiery and vulnerable, her voice agreeably dark in its middle range and sufficiently full on top. ”The New Yorker: Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise:“However the productions turn out, it’s satisfying to watch the progress of City Opera’s singers, some of whom are still making their way through the early stages of an opera career. One is Carla Thelen Hanson, who had taken several years off to start a family. She came to the house last year as a cover singer, and got a quick promotion to Tosca: her dark-grained, strongly felt “Vissi d’arte” sailed right up to the uppermost balcony, where I was sitting.”



Coming Soon!

Love Songs Around the World Recording with Pianist Ainhoa Urkijo.
Check back here for a link on how to purchase.

Audio and Video



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