Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen 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.
Rachel was a member of the ensemble at the Dresdner Semperoper from 2012-2015, where she sang the title role in Lehár Die Lustige Witwe, Fiordiligi (Mozart Così fan tutte), Vitellia (Mozart La clemenza di Tito), Elettra (Mozart Idomeneo), Diemut (Strauss Feuersnot), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Mimi (Puccini La bohème). She has debuted in recent seasons at Vienna State Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Oper Zurich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and The San Francisco Opera.
Her 2017/18 opera engagements include Elsa (Wagner Lohengrin) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Countess (Mozart Le nozze di Figaro) at The Metropolitan Opera, New York, Marschallin (Strauss Der Rosenkavalier) at the Glyndebourne festival, Elena (Verdi Les vêpres siciliennes) at the Bavarian State Opera, and Donna Anna (Mozart Don Giovanni) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Concert engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano at the Enescu Festival, Bucharest.
In the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Willis-Sørensen returned to Covent Garden as Gutrune in Götterdämmerung under Antonio Pappano and Houston Grand Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. As a member of the ensemble at Semperoper Dresden, she made role debuts in a new production of Idomeneo as Elettra as well as revivals of Don Giovanni (Donna Anna), and La clemenza di Tito (Vitellia).
Highlights of future seasons include leading roles at Semperoper Dresden, Royal Opera House-Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera.
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 Così fan tutte and Gotham Chamber Opera as Licenza in Christopher Alden’s production of Mozart’s rarely-heard Il sogno di Scipione to celebrate 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 Così 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 mainstage 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 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.