Soprano

Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen is quickly gaining international recognition as one of the most outstanding voices of her generation.  A winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the New York Times hailed her "gleaming voice, capped with big top notes".  She was also the first prize winner of the 2011 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, earning the top honours in both the opera and operetta categories.

As a member of the ensemble at the Dresden Sempreoper, this current season sees Ms Willis-Sørensen sing the title role in Die Lustige Witwe, Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte, Michaela in Carmen and Diemut in Feuersnot. She performs Mahler’s second symphony with the Dresden Staatskapelle under Chung and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Accademia Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano. Future plans include return visits to the Royal Opera House and her debuts at the San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera and the Deutsche Oper.

During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Willis-Sørensen sang Gutrune in Götterdämmerung under Antonio Pappano, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Houston Grand Opera and Elettra and Vitellia at the Semperoper Dresden.

In the 2011-2012 season, Ms. Willis-Sørensen made her Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro under music director Antonio Pappano, a role which she also debuted at Michigan Opera Theatre.  Ms. Willis-Sørensen also debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl.  Additionally, she appeared at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Gotham Chamber Opera as Licenza in Christopher Alden's production of Mozart's rarely-heard Il sogno di Scipione. Ms. Willis-Sørensen is a recent alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

In the 2010-2011 season, she sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte in the HGO Studio performances.  She also covered Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Ms. Willis-Sørensen made her main stage debut as Masha in Pique Dame and covered both Elsa in Lohengrin and the Governess in The Turn of the Screw in the 2009-2010 season at Houston Grand Opera.  Ms. Willis-Sørensen made her Santa Fe Opera debut as the First Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and performed excerpts from Arabella as a member of their prestigious Apprentice Program.

Additional awards for Ms. Willis-Sørensen include first place in the 2009 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and the 2010 Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.  She holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Brigham Young University.