The Scene


Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Rachel Willis-Sørensen
Simon Pauly

American soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen is known for her diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart to Wagner. A regular guest at the leading opera houses around the world, she has been hailed as “visually stunning” with a “silvery colored voice raging and caressing with unfaltering strength.”

Ms. Willis-Sørensen’s 201920 season begins with her role debut as Marguerite (Faust) as part of the Royal Opera House’s tour of Japan. This also marks her debut in Japan. Her season continues with a return to two of her most beloved roles, Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), at the Semperoper Dresden and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Ms. Willis-Sørensen sings the role of Donna Anna a total of three times in her 201920 with performances – in addition to Chicago – at Opéra national de Bordeaux, and the Bayerische Staatsoper. Her performances in Bordeaux alternate with another Mozart heroine, Countess (Le nozze di Figaro).

Additional role debuts this season include the title role in Alcina at the Semperoper Dresden, and Valentine (Les Huguenots) at the Grand Théâtre Genève. In concert, she makes her French recital debut in Paris as part of the L’instant Lyrique recital series, and sings Beethoven’s Mass in C at the Semperoper Dresden.

Previous engagements included Rusalka (Rusalka) at the San Francisco Opera, Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) at Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Elsa (Lohengrin) at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opernhaus Zurich, Countess (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and the Wiener Staatsoper, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera and Semperoper Dresden, Hélène (Les Vêpres siciliennes) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at the San Francisco Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rosalinda in J. Strauss’s (Die Fledermaus) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Staatskapelle Dresden, Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte) at the Houston Grand Opera, Leonora (Fidelio) at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and Leonora (Il Trovatore) at the Teatro Regio di Torino.

Equally at home on the concert stage, she has performed Strauss’s Four Last Songs multiple times, including notably at Buckingham Palace for an HRH Prince Charles birthday celebration. Other repertoire includes Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Mahler’s 8th and 2nd Symphonies, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, and the Verdi Requiem. Rachel was a member of the ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden for three years, where she sang the title role in (Die Lustige Witwe), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Elettra (Idomeneo), Diemut (Feuersnot), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and Mimi (La bohème).

She won first prize at the 2014 Operalia competition in Los Angeles and at the 2011 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and she was a winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Brigham Young University and is an alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. An active presence on social media, she can be found on instagram, and facebook @rachewillissorensen and on twitter under @RWSing.

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