Born in Pombal, Portugal, Nélia Gonçalves is stylistically a versatile singer.


Recent projects include her interpretation of the role of Truika, in the contemporary opera “HUMMUS” by Zad Moultaka (written in 2013) under Max Hohen and conducted by Clara Alcobia Coelho by invitation of the recently formed company Opera Lab Europa.

In late 2016 she made her debut as Hansel in the opera “Hansel and Gretel” by Humperdinck (presented during the Temporada Darcos in its Portuguese version, by Alexandre Delgado), under Mário João Alves and conducted by Nuno Côrte-Real. Earlier in 2016, she joined the cast of “Dialogue des Carmelites” at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, conducted by João Paulo Santos and directed by Luís Miguel Sintra.

Nélia was invited to participate in the festival Dias da Música in 2015, as alto soloist in Cantata BWV 147 with the Ludovice Ensemble, directed by Fernando Miguel Jalôto.

Musical education

Awarded a scholarship from the Gulbenkian Foundation, she participated in various ENOA (European Network of Opera Academies) workshops, which gave her the opportunity to collaborate in various opera projects, such as “Il Signor Bruschino” by Rossini, singing the role of Marianna (2015), and Puccini’s “Gianni Schicci” in the role of Vecchia (2016). She also received coaching from Claudio Desderi, Larissa Diadkova and Sergei Leiferkus.

Nélia completed a Master’s degree in Music Education (Singing) at the University of Aveiro in 2013. She holds a Bachelor degree in Music (Performance – Singing) from the same university, where she studied under António Salgado, António Chagas Rosa and Joaquina Ly, and was awarded the Cidade de Aveiro Prize. She regularly participates in masterclasses, and has studied with Claire Vangelisti, Susan Waters, Laura Sarti, Brian Gill, Pierre Mak, Elisabete Matos, João Paulo Santos, Kathryn Harries, Mark Shananhan and Della Jones.


As a soloist, she has performed in various concerts under the direction of conductors such as Vasco Negreiros, António Vassalo Lourenço, Laurence Cummings, Luís Carvalho, Brian MacKay and João Paulo Janeiro.

Nélia has participated in diverse choral music projects, such as the Coro Casa da Música, and under various conductors, including Paul Hillier, James Wood, Simon Carrington, Andrew Bizants, Kaspars Putnins, Laurence Cummings, Christoph König, Andrew Parrott and Peter Rundel. In 2013, she sung with the Tenso Europe Chamber Choir under Kaspars Putnins.

Since 2014 she has been a staff member of the ZêzereArts Festival under the artistic direction of Brian MacKay, performing as a soloist and teaching vocal technique.

She currently teaches singing at the Conservatories of Music of Castelo Branco and of Covilhã. Nélia Gonçalves holds a degree in Economics from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra.