Early life and education
When young Stemme played piano and viola. She attended Adolf Fredrik's music school (Swedish: Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser), a high profile song-and-chorus school in Stockholm. During a year as an exchange student at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia, she joined the school chorus, sang solos and won awards.
Parallel to her studies of business administration and economics at the University of Stockholm, Stemme followed a two-year course at the Stockholm Operastudio. Her debut as Cherubino in Cortona, Italy, in 1989 made Stemme decide to follow a professional singer's career; her studies at the University College of Opera in Stockholm were completed in 1994. In addition to two minor roles at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, she also sang Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Mimi (La bohème), Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, and Diana (La fedeltà premiata by Haydn).
She sang in two singing competitions, Operalia, The World Opera Competition and Cardiff Singer of the World. As winner of Operalia in 1993, Stemme was invited by Plácido Domingo, founder of Operalia, to appear with him in a concert at La Bastille (1993); the same concert also took place on January 1, 1994, in Munich.
Stemme speaks five languages.
Since her operatic debut as Cherubino in Cortona, Italy, Stemme has appeared with many opera companies, including the Royal Swedish Opera Stockholm, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala Milano, Semperoper Dresden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Zurich Opera, Teatro di San Carlo Naples, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Opéra Bastille Paris, Covent Garden London, Teatro Real Madrid, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Metropolitan Opera New York, San Francisco Opera, as well as at the Bayreuth, Salzburg, Savonlinna, Glyndebourne and Bregenz festivals.
Her roles include Rosalinde, Mimi in La Bohème, Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Suor Angelica, Euridice, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Marguerite, Agathe, Marie, Nyssia (König Kandaules), Jenůfa, Marschallin, Eva, Elisabeth, Elsa, Senta, Sieglinde, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser and Isolde. This last brought her critical acclaim at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2003, on disc for EMI Classics with Plácido Domingo, Antonio Pappano and the chorus and orchestra of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden released in 2005 and most recently at the Bayreuth Festival in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007 Stemme returned in the role of Isolde to Glyndebourne Festival Opera where she first made her debut in the role.
In 2006, Stemme sang Maria in the premiere of Sven-David Sandström's Ordet – en passion, on March 24 in Stockholm. She also made her role debut in the title role of Aida in a new production at Zürich Opera and recorded her first album of Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs and final scenes. On the concert platform in 2006–07, she appeared in recital with Antonio Pappano (piano) in Barcelona and Dresden, in concert performances of Salome in Strasbourg and Paris and in recital at the Zurich opera.
In 2008, Stemme replaced Deborah Voigt in what would have been Voigt's role debut as Brünnhilde in the opera Siegfried, part of a new Wiener Staatsoper Ring Cycle conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. Stemme also sang Brünnhilde in San Francisco Opera's 2011 Ring Cycle.
Stemme lives in Stockholm. She is married to stage designer Bengt Gomér and has three children.
- 2004: received Svenska Dagbladet's Opera Award (Swedish: Svenska Dagbladets operapris)
- 2005: selected by a German expert 50-member jury through the Opernwelt magazine as the world's leading female opera singer
- 2006: appointed Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music
- 2006: appointed Hovsångerska by H.M. the King of Sweden
- 2008: received the medal Litteris et Artibus by H.M. the King of Sweden
- 2010: received the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera
- 2012: selected again by Opernwelt as "Female singer of the year"
- 2012: appointed Österreichischer Kammersängerin (Literally: Austrian Chamber singer) 
- 2012: the Gramophone Award for best Opera Record was awarded to DECCA's recording of Beethoven's Fidelio with Stemme performing the role of Leonore with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra directed by Claudio Abbado.
- 2013: selected as the world's leading female opera singer by International Opera Awards.
- 2013: received the ninth annual Opera News Award "paying tribute to five superb artists who have made invaluable contributions to the art form: director Patrice Chéreau, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, bass-baritone James Morris and soprano Nina Stemme"
Stemme's repertoire includes:
- Isolde in Richard Wagners Tristan und Isolde. (3 CD + 1 DVD). EMI 7243 5 58006 2 6.
- Strauss, Richard, Vier letzte Lieder. The final scene from Capriccio. The final scene from Salome. EMI Classics 0946 3 78797 2 6.
- Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Glyndebourne festival. Dir. Jiri Belohlavek. Opus Arte DVD OA 0988 D.
- Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. With Katarina Karnéus. Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. London Philharmonic Orchestra. Dir. Jiří Bělohlávek. House of Opera CD14167.
- Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio. Dir. Claudio Abbado. Salzburger Festspiele. Decca 478 2551 (box), (478 2552, 478 2553).
- The title role in Janacek's Jenufa. Dir. Peter Schneider. Live from the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2005. DVD. Naxos.
- Senta in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer. Dir. David Parry. Chandos 3119 (2 CD). (Opera in English).
- Mortelmans. L., Sanger. Various cond. (In Flanders' fields, vol. 33). Phaedra 92033.
- The title role in Verdi's Aida. Züricher Opernhauses. Dir. Ádám Fischer. DVD. BelAir Classics.
- The First Plácido Domingo International Voice Competition - Gala Concert. Dir. Eugene Kohn. Sony classical 01-046691-10.
- The Marschallin in Strauss Der Rosenkavalier. Chor des Züricher Opernhauses. Nina Stemme, Malin Hartelius m.fl. Zürich. Dir. Franz Welser-Möst. EMI. DVD.
- Leonora in Verdi's La Forza del Destino. Chor und Orchestra der Wiener Staatsoper, dir. Zubin Mehta. Unitel classics (PROFIL 708108). DVD.
- Victoria and She/soprano in Ingvar Lidholm, A Dream Play (Swedish: Ett drömspel) : opera with prelude and two acts. With Håkan Hagegård. Caprice CAP 22029:1-2. (2 CD).
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Live San Francisco 2011. Premiere Opera. (www.premiereopera.net).
- Isolde in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, live 2012-03-27. Dir. Marek Janowski. PentatoneClassics PTC 5186404.
- Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser. Dir. Marek Janowski. PentatoneClassics PTC 5186405.
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Götterdämmerung. Munich 2012. Dir. Kent Nagano. Premiere Opera 8472-4. (premiereopera.com)
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre. La Scala 2010. Dir. Daniel Barenboim. Premiere Opera DVD 8323. Also as CD: Premiere Opera 6153-4. (premiereopera.com).
- Minnie in The Girl of the Golden West. Royal Opera Stockholm. Dir. Pier Giorgio Morandi. Premiere Opera. CD. (www.premiereoperaa.net).
- Minnie in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West. DVD. Dir. Pier Giorgio Morandi. Royal Opera Stockholm. Premiere Opera DVD 10187. (premiereopera.com).
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre. Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Kampe, René Pape. Mariinsky Orchestra, dir. Valery Gergiev. MARO527.
- The title role in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. With Katarina Karnéus. Grand Théâtre de Genève. Dir Jeffrey Tate. House of Opera CD10617.
- Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre. Dir. Franz Welser-Möst. Wiener Staatsoper 2 Deecmber 2007. Orfeo C875 131B.
- The title role in Puccini's Turandot. Royal Opera Stockholm 16 februari 2013. Premiere Opera CD 9650-2. (premiereopera.com).
- Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Dir. Thomas Dausgaard. BIS 2022.
- Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder; Nystroem's Songs by the sea; De Boeck's Seven French songs. Jozef De Beenhouwer, piano. Phaedra.
- Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. Salzburg Festival, dir Mariss Jansons. DVD Euroarts. Source: amazon.co.uk
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Die Walküre. The Proms, London 2013. Dir. Daniel Barenboim. Premiere Opera CD 10110-3 (premiereopera.com).
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Siegfried. The Proms, London 2013. Dir. Daniel Barenboim. Premiere Opera CD 10111-3 (premiereopera.com).
- Brünnhilde in Wagner's Götterdämmerung. The Proms, London 2013. Dir. Daniel Barenboim. Premiere Opera CD 10112-4. (premiereopera.com).
Note: There are two record companies with the name Premiere Opera:
- premiereopera.net (with no serial numbers on its releases)
- Swedish genealogical CD disk that can be acquired at http://www.genealogi.se/wiki/index.php/Sveriges_befolkning_1970
- Operalia web page
- Wagneropera web page
- McHugh, Dominic (September 13, 2009). "Nina Stemme on The Royal Opera's new production of Tristan und Isolde". MusicalCriticism.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- http://www.operan.se/Vi-pa-Operan/Ensemble/Sangsolister Royal Swedish Opera web page
- http://www.svd.se/ Svenska Dagbladets official web page
- http://www.opernwelt.de official web page
- http://www.kungahuset.se/royalcourt Swedish Royal Court official home page
- Olivier Awards web page
- http://www.operanews.com, September 2013. Vol. 78, No. 3
- Official website
- Biography in Artistman site
- Royal Opera House Stockholm website
- New York Times review of Stemme in Tristan in Bayreuth (2006)