American soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen made her Royal Opera debut in 2012 as Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and has since returned to sing Gutrune (Götterdämmerung). In the 2016/17 Season she sings Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) for The Royal Opera.
Willis-Sørensen grew up in Tri-Cities and studied vocal performance and pedagogy at Brigham Young University. She was a member of Houston Grand Opera Studio, where she worked with Dolora Zajick. From 2012 to 2015 she was a member of the ensemble of Semperoper Dresden, singing roles including Alcina, Elettra (Idomeneo), Countess Almaviva, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Agathe (Der Freischütz), Rachel (La Juive), Mimì (La bohème), Diemut (Feuersnot), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and Hanna Glawari (Die lustige Witwe). Other opera engagements include Donna Anna for Vienna State Opera and Houston Grand Opera, Countess Almaviva for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Vienna State Opera, Eva for San Francisco Opera, Elsa (Lohengrin) for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Leonore (Fidelio) with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Concert engagements include Countess and Strauss’s Four Last Songs with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Edo de Waart, Leonora (Fidelio) and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano, concerts of Wagner in Scandinavia with Bryn Terfel and Mahler’s Second and Eighth symphonies with Staatskapelle Dresden and Myung-whun Chung. Her awards include in the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the 2011 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition and the 2014 Richard Tucker Awards, and first prize, the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the Zarzuela Prize in Operalia 2014.
Rachel Willis-Sørensen as Countess Almaviva and Mariusz Kwiecien as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di figaro
Peter Coleman-Wright as Gunther and Rachel Willis-Sørensen as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung
Rachel Willis-Sørensen as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung
Rachel Willis-Sørensen as Countess Almaviva, Alexandra Kurzak and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Figaro in Le nozze de figaro