Njål Sparbo has had solo engagements with all major choirs and orchestras in Norway and numerous performances throughout Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States. He performs regularly at festivals, opera scenes, in radio and television, and has a discography of 30 recordings. He studied singing with Jan Sødal, Aase Nordmo Løverg and Ingrid Bjoner and in master classes with, among others Hans Hotter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Galina Vishnevskaya. After his debut in 1991 he has distinguished himself as one of Norway's most active and versatile singers, with a repertoire that spans opera, romances and church music. His special interest in contemporary music has led to many commissions, numerous world premieres, staged productions and recordings.

Sparbo has been awarded numerous awards and scholarships, among from the Wallenberg stipend fund, Klæstad's endowment, Fegersten's endowment, Ingrid Bjoner's scholarship and the Kirsten Flagstad price. After a series of concerts performing all the songs by Edvard Grieg, he received the Grieg Prize in 2009 for his contributions to renew the musical interpretation tradition in Grieg's songs, particularly by bringing up the dramatic scope.

He has held The Norwegian Government Grant for Artists (1997-1999 and 2005-2008) to study Art song and Contemporary Norwegian song repertoire. In 2009-2014 he worked as a fellow researcher at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with a research project merging different aspects of artistic performance practice with the Norwegian psychomotor tradition. In 2014-15 he was part of the research group "The reflective musician" at the Academy of Music in the Project Program for Artistic Development. He has conducted peer reviews at The Norwegian Academy of Music, at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the University College of Opera in Stockholm.

He is a member of Artists' Union Scholarship Committee and is currently board member of the International Grieg Society and The Norwegian Operatic Association. He has been managing director of Oslo Grieg Society and festival director of Oslo Grieg Festival. As an entrepreneur, he founded the record company Quattro Records, a website for singers and a website for musical scores.

Sparbo is a sought-after singing teacher and has held master classes in Norway, the Netherlands and the United States. After his doctorate, he has also taught psychophysical stage presence at the Oslo Academy of Opera and the Oslo Academy of Ballet. He has ensemble experience from The Norwegian National Opera Chorus, the vocal quartet Quattro Stagioni and the vocal ensemble Nordic Voices, and has coached a number of choirs and vocal ensembles, including The Oslo Philharmonic Choir.