American soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen, a regular guest at the leading opera houses around the world, is known for her diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart to Wagner.
Ms. Willis-Sørensen opens the 2021/22 season with a concert in San Francisco. This season finds her performing three roles at the Wiener Staatsoper. Her first engagement in Vienna includes her role debut as Desdemona in Verdi’s 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 Bayerische Staatsoper, Elsa in Lohengrin at the Oper Frankfurt, and the title role in Rusalka with NDR Hamburg. On the concert stage, she performs Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and a solo Strauss program in Paris with the Orchestre national de France.
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, Mimì (La Bohème) at the Bayerische Staatsoper, 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, 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 for an HRH Prince Charles birthday celebration, 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 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd, 4th and 8th Symphonies, Mendelssohn’s Elias, Dvořák 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 Die Lustige Witwe, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Elettra (Idomeneo), Diemut (Feuersnot), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) and Mimì (La Bohème). She won first prize at the 2014 Operalia competition in Los Angeles and at the 2011 Hans Gábor 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, facebook and tiktok.