From: Tri-Cities, Washington. LA Opera: Desdemona in Otello (2023, debut).
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 opened the 2021/22 season with a concert in San Francisco. This season finds her performing three roles at the Vienna State Opera: a role debut as Desdemona in Otello, followed by a return to the role of Marguerite in Faust and a holiday celebration performing Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. Returning to the Semperoper Dresden, she then performs Mimì in La Bohème. In the spring, she performs the role of Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes at the Bavarian State Opera, Elsa in Lohengrin at the Frankfurt Opera, and the title role in Rusalka with NDR Hamburg. On the concert stage, she performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and a solo Strauss program in Paris with the Orchestre National de France.
Engagements for the 2022/23 season will include Elisabeth in the original five-act French version of Don Carlos with Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Previous engagements included Rusalka (Rusalka) at the San Francisco Opera, Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) at Glyndebourne, Semperoper Dresden and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Violetta (La Traviata) at Opéra national de Bordeaux, Marguerite (Faust) as part of the Royal Opera House’s tour of Japan, Elsa (Lohengrin) at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opernhaus Zurich, Mimi (La Bohème) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Countess (The Marriage of Figaro) at the Metropolitan Opera and the Wiener Staatsoper, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wiener Staatsoper, Houston Grand Opera and Semperoper Dresden, Hélène (Les Vêpres Siciliennes) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Valentine (Les Huguenots) at the Grand Théâtre Genève, Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at the San Francisco Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Staatskapelle Dresden, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) at the Houston Grand Opera, Leonore (Fidelio) at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and Leonora (Il Trovatore) at the Teatro Regio di Torino and Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Equally at home on the concert stage, she has performed Strauss’s Four Last Songs multiple times, including notably at Buckingham Palace, and joined Jonas Kaufmann in 2019 and 2020 for a multi-city European tour in support of his latest recording, Wien, on which she is featured. Other repertoire includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second, Fourth and Eighth Symphonies, Mendelssohn’s Elias, Dvořák's Stabat Mater, and the Verdi Requiem.
Rachel was a member of the ensemble at the Dresdner Semperoper for three years, where she sang the title role in The Merry Widow, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Elettra in Idomeneo, Diemut in Feuersnot, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and Mimi in 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.
Learn more at RachelWillisSorensen.com.